Angad Vir Singh Bajwa: ‘I was confident of winning the gold’

Twenty-three-year-old Angad was tired of winning silver in men’s skeet in the last two National championships.

Angad Singh Vir Bajwa won the tie-shoot in the men's skeet final to emerge as the National champion. Photo: Special Arrangement

As the newly crowned Asian Champion in skeet, with a world record 60 out of 60 in the final, Angad Vir Singh Bajwa was under pressure to nail the elusive National championship gold in Jaipur.

The 23-year-old from Chandigarh was tired of winning silver in the last two National championships, and desperately desired to wear the gold. As it turned out, Angad Vir beat Olympian and World Cup silver medallist Mairaj Ahmad Khan in the tie-shoot to clinch the gold, after the two were tied on 55 in the final.

Read | Angad wins men's skeet gold at National Shotgun C'ship

Interestingly, it was in the long drawn shoot-off that Mairaj had beaten Angad Vir 26-25 in the last National championship in Delhi. Earlier, in 2016, at the same range in Jaipur, Anantjeet Singh Naruka had pipped Angad Vir to the gold.

‘Confident’

“I was tired after the Asian Championship. Still, I prepared hard for the National championship. After the high of the world record, I did not want to choke. It is hard to explain. And there was a variation in the speed of the birds in the Jaipur range. So, I dropped a few targets in qualification. But, going into the final, I had made my calculations. I was confident of winning the gold,” said Angad Vir on Saturday, after he had returned to his home range in Dera Bassi, near Chandigarh.

Read | Angad wins men's skeet gold at Asian Shotgun C'ship

With a skeet lay-out and Olympic standard equipment in place at home, Angad Vir has the liberty to train as long as he can take it. With his father having business in Canada also, Angad Vir goes to Toronto to train. “You need to get a feel of different ranges. It is really hard, as I hardly stay at home for a week. I don’t worry about most of the things. My job is to break every target,” said Angad Vir.

‘Well settled technique’

He is keen to be at his best, first in the three selection trials to make the national team for the first three World Cups next season, in pursuit of the Olympic quota. Having been trained by some of the best coaches in the world, including the current national coach Ennio Falco, gold medallist in the Atlanta Olympics, Angad Vir says that he has picked up good points from all of them, and has formed his own style.

Mairaj Ahmad Khan (in picture) had beaten Angad Vir 26-25 in the last National championship in Delhi. File Photo: AFP

 

“Technique is well settled. Most of the time, it is a mental game. I am glad that I have Jitender Beniwal with me to take care of the mental aspect. He was with me in the Asian Shotgun championship in Kuwait,” said Angad Vir, quite happy with the consistent support rendered by Olympic Gold Quest for the last few years.

‘Learning every day’

Pursuing a BBA from the Manav Rachna University, Angad Vir raves about the guidance from the Asian Games gold medallist Ronjan Sodhi. “You pick up small points from various people. You never stop learning. In fact, I am learning every day, as I explore to see what suits me,” he said.

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Angad Vir is equally grateful to the support extended to the juniors by the national federation and is sure that “with better reflexes,” the juniors were better equipped to reach Olympic standard. The young lad is also grateful to the guidance from the chief coach Mansher Singh, especially during the Asian Games, when he shot 119 and placed 14th.

With the new rules, the whole game is in the final. “I have been training a lot for the finals. I didn’t miss a target for four days before the National championship,” he said.

It is a pursuit of perfection for Angad Vir, whose sole aim is Olympic glory in 2020.