Anjum Moudgil starts ‘serious’ training for Air Rifle, reveals coach

Anjum Moudgil’s best performance in air rifle came last year in the mixed team at the ISSF Munich and Beijing World Cups, where she won a gold medal in each event.

India’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions shooting specialist Anjum Moudgil has started training in earnest for 10m Air Rifle after she clinched an Olympic quota in the event during the 2018 World Championships in Changwon in South Korea.

The Chandigarh-born shooter had ended with a final score of 628.7 in the World Championships two years back, shooting 248.4 in the final, which was quite impressive given that the 10m Air Rifle was never her favoured event.

Her coach Deepali Deshpande has stated that the 26-year-old world no. 4 in the 10m Air Rifle event has now stepped up training, alongside her preferred three positions, ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

“She’s good at everything. 3P is her pet event for sure because we had been training for a long time. We’re only taking Air Rifle seriously after attaining the quota,” Deepali Deshpande told The New Indian Express.

“Until then, her basic technique was okay, but the event was always a secondary one. She didn’t think about it much then. But the Olympics is no joke, so we started training more seriously on Air Rifle,” the former international shooter added.

Apart from the 2018 World Championships, Anjum Moudgil had also come closer to secure a medal in the 10m Air Rifle event at the 2018 ISSF World Cup in Guadalajara and the 2019 ISSF World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, finishing fourth and sixth respectively.

Now, with Anjum Moudgil confined to her home owing to the national lockdown, Deepali Deshpande says the shooter has no choice but to polish her Air Rifle skills.

Deepali Deshpande says Anjum Moudgil is limited to Air Rifle shooting stuck at her home. Photo: ISSF
Deepali Deshpande says Anjum Moudgil is limited to Air Rifle shooting stuck at her home. Photo: ISSFDeepali Deshpande says Anjum Moudgil is limited to Air Rifle shooting stuck at her home. Photo: ISSF

“We have made plenty of tweaks and we were ready. Now that we have time and she’s home, where she can only train for Air Rifle,” the former junior national coach also said.

Anjum Moudgil has tough competition

Anjum Moudgil’s best performance in Air Rifle till date came last year in the mixed team at the ISSF Munich and Beijing World Cups, where she won a gold medal in each event. However, she has a tough competition in the 10m Air Rifle individual event.

One of her biggest rivals in the event would be compatriot Elavenil Valarivan. The 20-year-old shooting sensation, and current world no.1 in women’s 10m Air Rifle event, has already won the 2018 ISSF Junior World Cup, the 2019 ISSF World Cup in Rio de Janeiro and the 2019 ISSF World Cup Final in Putian.

Another opponent standing in the way for Anjum Moudgil would be Apurvi Chandela. The Olympian won two gold medals last year in the 10m Air Rifle individual event at the ISSF Munich and New Delhi World Cups and is currently sitting seventh in the world rankings.

Anjum Moudgil and Apurvi Chandela were among the first Indian shooters to have sealed an Olympic quota for the country. India has so far booked 15 quotas in shooting at the Tokyo Olympics.

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