Mehuli Ghosh wins Sportstar Aces 2020 Young Athlete of the Year (Female)

Teenage shooting sensation Mehuli Ghosh won the female Young Athlete of the Year at the Sportstar Aces Awards on Monday.

Mehuli Ghosh bettered the senior world record at the 2019 South Asian Games to clinch gold.

I am grateful to Sportstar and the jury for choosing me. It is such a morale-boosting award, as it has been a tough season for me. It was a honour to receive the award from Anjali Bhagwat, who has been a pioneer in women’s air rifle, winning World Cup and World Cup Final gold medals, and making the Olympic final when I was a toddler.

Winning the South Asian Games gold with 253.3 in the final, better than the world record, and qualifying with 632.6, was a consolation for me in a season in which I had to be content to shoot the MQS section.

My coach Joydeep Karmakar is proud that I stayed on track, despite the fact that I was not eligible to make the final or fight for a medal in the World Cups. It was satisfying that I shot big scores 631.0 and 632.2, 629.1 in the World Cups, which would have put me in the final, in the normal course. Four of us competing in the World Cup Final was very special, and I was happy to make the final, even though I would have loved to win a medal. Even at the Asian Championships in Doha, I had to be in the MQS section. It only shows the strength of women’s air rifle shooting in the country.

My coach believes that the one 3.1 score that I shot accidentally in The Intershoot in the Netherlands perhaps shattered my prospects for 2019. It was the beginning of the season. It was hard to get into the regular national team with Anjum Moudgil, Apurvi Chandela and Elavenil Valarivan shooting so well.

Failures make me strong and compel me to work better. It may have been just another season, but it has given me the foundation, possibly for the next 20 years, to excel in the sport. The challenge is to rise after the fall. It makes the journey so much fun.

***

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar, chess ace Vishwanathan Anand, The Hindu Publishing Group chairman N. Ram, former India hockey captain M. M. Somaya, Olympian shooter Anjali Bhagwat and Olympian shuttler Aparna Popat selected the deserving winners in categories involving young athletes, teams, coaches and parathletes.

The awards look to create a medium of knowledge and vision exchange as it brings all stakeholders of Indian sports under one roof.

As told to Kamesh Srinivasan.

You can watch the Sportstar Aces Awards telecast on Sony Ten 1 SD & HD on Sunday 26 January at 8 PM (IST).

1st Repeat : Monday 27 January at 6 PM, 2nd Repeat : Tuesday 28th January  at 7 PM

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