Elavenil Valarivan eyeing right balance in her quest for Olympic glory

The top-ranked rifle shooter in the world is enjoying her time away from the range with her family.

By Naveen Peter ·

Elavenil Valarivan came into the 2020 season riding high on confidence.

In 2019, the Ahmedabad shooter had managed to win her maiden ISSF World Cup gold and then followed it up with the title at the season-ending World Cup Finals as well.

Her consistency at the international stage was soon rewarded with the number one position in the women’s 10m Air Rifle. And the 20-year-old was eager to build on the momentum coming into the Olympic year.

But with the COVID-19 pandemic coming in the way of her plans, the Indian shooter, like most around the world, has been forced to recalibrate her programme.

While making it to the Olympic team was her primary objective this year, the youngster is confident that the plans have not changed much despite the unexpected jolt.

“The target is still the same, the process has changed due to the state of an outbreak of the virus,” she told ANI in a recent interview.

“I am fortunate that I have my mentor (Gagan Narang) and coach (Neha Chavan) to plan my schedule as per the revised international calendar. I just need to follow them in a disciplined manner.”

Away from the shooting range after a long while has also helped Elavenil Valarivan disconnect from the sport and concentrate on other aspects of life. Something that she believes is important in an athlete’s life.

“Shooting as a sport is very solitary, you are alone on the firing line responsible for your own performance, hence this current time gives me time to disconnect from sport and go back to my normal life, to set a few things right in my daily routine and be back in time for the training schedule coming up once the lockdown is over,” she said.

Gagan Narang backs work-life balance

Though her mentor, the former Olympic medallist Gangan Narang, concurs that it’s important for Valarivan to enjoy the normal routine and that the athlete finds the right balance.

“A normal routine should be followed where time is also given to the family and that is what Elavenil is doing at the moment,” Gagan Narang told WION recently.

“She is taking care of her parents and making good use of this opportunity to spend quality time at home. She is working on some of her weaknesses and niggles, which will definitely help her in the long run.

“She is regular in her Scatt training and I keep a check on her scores. We get in touch through Zoom calls once in a few days and she is keeping a positive mindset,” he informed.