Mehuli skipped ISC examination to shoot silver at CWG

The 17-year-old Mehuli Ghosh claimed silver at the Commonwealth Games after deciding to give her Class XII examinations a miss according to her coach Joydeep Karmakar.

India's Mehuli Ghosh with her silver medal at the Commonwealth Games.

 

At a time when most of her schoolmates were sweating over the Board examinations, Mehuli Ghosh was in two minds--whether to appear for the ISC examination or participate in Commonwealth Games?

The 17-year-old, however, chose the latter.

READ:  Mehuli wins silver in 10m air rifle, bronze for Chandela

And on Monday, the young shooter clinched a silver medal in women's 10m air rifle, to add to India's medal tally.

"She was a bit hesitant about skipping her Class XII examinations, but I told her that there will be another chance to appear for the Board exams, but representing the country in the Commonwealth Games is a chance, she should not miss. I'm glad she listened to me," Mehuli's coach and Olympian, Joydeep Karmakar, told Sportstar on Monday.

Having missed out on a medal by a whisker in the 2012 London Olympics, Karmakar knows what it means to lose out on a medal. And perhaps, that's why, he is a little disappointed with his ward's result.

A missed shot at gold

"The gold was right there. But Mehuli did not realise that her last shot in the shoot-off was still left. She almost packed her weapons, when she realised that the final shot was still to be fired," Karmakar said, adding: "That affected her final performance a bit. She could not regain her old touch that quickly."

Hailing from Baidyabati, a small town in the district of Hoogly in West Bengal, Mehuli has been an 'obedient student'.

"I've seen so many youngsters over the years but she is different. If you scold her for mistakes, she would ensure that the mistake is not repeated. She is always willing to learn. That makes her stand out," Karmakar pointed out.

Before she left for the Commonwealth Games, Karmakar ensured Mehuli had enough mental training. "I've always believed that in terms of skills, all athletes are almost same. It's the mental aspect that makes the difference. So, we had some really good mental conditioning sessions and those helped immensely," Karmakar said.

Mehuli Ghosh with her coach Joydeep Karmakar.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

 

World Cup in sight

With Commonwealth Games campaign over, Mehuli will return home on Tuesday, to prepare for this month's World Cup Stage II.

"We will start our preparation the moment she reaches here. We can't be basking in CWG glory for long. We have to think beyond," the seasoned shooter said.

So, did he get a chance to speak to Mehuli at Gold Coast after the contest?

"We spoke at length over phone. I scolded her a bit for not waiting till the final shot. I am not too happy with her scores, but then, those things will come in with experience," Karmakar said.

But Mehuli's performance on Monday has also made Joydeep take an important decision. "I've decided to accompany her henceforth. In big tournaments, it is important that the shooter gets the support of her coach. She needs me in the range," Karmakar said.

Coming from a middle-class Bengali household, Mehuli was excited when P. V. Sindhu called her up a few days before the Commonwealth Games. The badminton ace had spoken to the young shooter for a while over telephone, cheering her up for the big event.

"Welcome to the big league," Sindhu had told her.

And in Gold Coast, Mehuli has proven that she's actually made for the big league.