Anjum Moudgil has reasons to be optimistic about India’s hopes for the shooting contingent at the 2020 Olympics. Over the past few years, if there’s one Olympic discipline that India has shown it's potential in, then it has to be shooting.
From drawing a blank at Rio 2016, the Indian shooting contingent has grown from strength to strength with every passing year. And this phenomenon was evident in 2019 when shooters from the country went on to excel at the international stage, winning titles at will.
Leading this charge have been the likes of Manu Bhaker, Saurabh Chaudhary, Apurvi Chandela and Anjum Moudgil.
While the Manu Bhaker-Saurabh Chaudhary duo was a force to reckon with in the pistol events in 2019, Apurvi Chandela and Anjum Moudgil impressed many with their precise shooting rifle segments.
So, it’s no surprise that the 26-year-old Anjum Moudgil believes that the nation’s shooting team stands a good chance of doing well at Tokyo 2020 as well.
“Our shooting team is the best in the world. I am really happy that I am part of this team. This team is really good at the world level. My team-mates are breaking records and winning medals,” Moudgil said in an interview released by the Press Trust of India.
“I am sure the results in the upcoming tournaments will be really good. I am expecting a good performance by the entire shooting contingent at the Olympics.”
One of the key features of the Indian team has been the rise of youngsters over the past four years. While pistol shooters Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary are only 17, the rifle half has the likes of Elavenil Valarivan (20) and Mehuli Gosh (20) who have come good in the limited opportunities that they have received in the company of their senior pros.
But what has been the reason behind this shift?
“It’s the availability of equipment and good coaches,” believes Anjum Moudgil. “It’s really good to see how the youngsters are taking up shooting and they are doing really well.
“The senior Indian team is really young, which is a good thing. This is the best Indian shooting team I have ever seen.”
The mix of experience and youth, coupled with the improvements in the infrastructure, has made the Indian shooting contingent keep a positive outlook in the Olympic year.