Indian shooter Ayushi Podder returns to training after cyclone

The youngster had to scramble to protect all her equipment from the cyclone and is now back at it in a bid to make the Olympics team.

A week ago, Cyclone Amphan hit the eastern part of India, leading to severe waterlogging and leaving widespread damage in its wake.

For Kolkata-based Ayushi Podder, one of the top priorities was to wrap up all her shooting equipment and other gear into polythene bags in order to save them from damage when water entered her apartment last week.

A mere few days after the worst had passed, the 19-year-old Indian shooter is back in training in a bid to be ready whenever things return to normal.

“Ayushi has begun her training again by doing simulations at home,” her father and coach Pankaj Podder, a former national-level shooter himself, told Sportstar.

“Sometimes, we go downstairs to the makeshift range to train and have to carry the heavy kit bag while descending and climbing the stairs for four floors.”

Ayushi Podder trains with her father Pankaj. Photo: Ayushi Podder/Facebook
Ayushi Podder trains with her father Pankaj. Photo: Ayushi Podder/FacebookAyushi Podder trains with her father Pankaj. Photo: Ayushi Podder/Facebook

Though they did well to save the shooting equipment, Ayushi Podder may have to pitch in for some new footwear as around 10 pairs of shoes, and some clothes, had to be given away after they got drenched.

The young Indian shooter, who participates in the 50m rifle events, had been in good form in the past few months, having shot scores as high as 1174 in the Olympic trials, making her one of six possible candidates to make the Indian shooting team for the Tokyo Olympics.

This followed her exploits at the Khelo India Youth Games a few months back, where she won gold in the 10m rifle mixed team event and silver in the 3 positions for the state of West Bengal.

Ayushi Podder was introduced to the sport by her father Pankaj, who runs his own shooting academy in Kolkata called ‘Bull’s Eye’. 

Indian shooter Mehuli Ghosh, a Youth Olympics and Commonwealth Games silver medallist and one of Ayushi’s childhood friends, also trained under the tutelage of Pankaj Podder.

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