Putting behind the disappointment of Tokyo Olympics, ace Indian shooter Elavenil Valarivan is aiming for consistency in the run up to next year’s Asiad and 2024 Paris Games.
One of the top medals contenders, Elavenil, like the entire Indian shooting contingent, had returned empty-handed from Tokyo last year.
The 23-year-old, one of India’s top air rifle shooter, is now gearing up for the World Championships to be held in Cairo next month.
“My immediate priority is the coming World Championship in Cairo, Egypt, from October 12, 2022. I have been training hard,” she said in a press release.
“I am looking at consistency and that is important in the run up to the Asian Games and Paris Olympics.” Elavenil feels Indian shooters enjoy healthy competition at domestic events which helps them grow.
“We have some of the best shooters. And events like the National Championships and the National Games are good competition. These help us grow and help us find good form before international events.” Before the world event, Elavenil, will compete at the National Games.
“My National Games debut will happen in my place and there is a lot of excitement. I think shooting in front of the home crowd will have a different feeling.
“I must play a big role in motivating local shooters in the National Games. I would like to be in a good frame of mind for the coming World Championship with a good show here.” Elavenil announced her arrival on the world stage when she won the silver medal in the 2018 World Junior Championships.
Her big moment came when she won a gold in the ISSF World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, becoming only the fifth Indian woman to secure a World Cup gold in 33 years.
A product of Gagan Narang’s academy, Elavenil feels the recent renovation of the shooting range here would help the shooters.
“I think more and more youngsters will take to the sport. The range looks beautiful. I would get the opportunity to shoot here frequently and, hopefully, there will be more big competitions here,” she said.
Talking about Narang, Elavenil said the 2012 Olympic bronze medallist shooter has taught her the importance of mental toughness.
“He is a role model. I have been inspired by his achievements. What I like about him is his cool demeanour. That is important for any shooter.” “He would simply say be cool. Mental toughness is important, particularly in tight situations. Over the years, I have learnt from my mistakes. Self-belief is another key factor,” she said.