By sweeping the four individual gold medals in rifle events--including one in the mixed air rifle--Anjum Moudgil has accomplished something that will be hard to match in the National shooting championships in the years to come.
Of course, Deepali Deshpande had accomplished the task of winning the three individual gold medals in air rifle, prone and 3-position in 2004, and the former World Champion in prone, Tejaswini Sawant, has also done it.
Yet, winning four gold medals, with the newly added mixed event, was extraordinary, especially considering the wealth of talent in the country and so many world-beaters in each of these events.
At a time when some were wondering whether Anjum would be able to defend her air rifle Olympic quota, as she is supposed to be a 3-position expert with a world record of 1180 out of 1200 against her name, Anjum has proved her versatile efficiency beyond all doubt.
“I feel it was important to win the national championship so as to have enough confidence to go and make India proud internationally.
Winning gold helps me have that faith in my training and eagerness to do better in each step,’’ said Anjum.
As someone who is relaxed and happy most of the time, Anjum has been able to enjoy the experience of the golden sweep. “My friends and others are calling me Golden Girl, and asking me to give them tips about how to shoot! Overall, it was good to see people appreciating me so much and taking selfies with me. I feel shy doing that,’’ the World Championship silver medallist said.
For someone with such accomplishments at the international level, as she had won the Commonwealth Games medal prior to World Championship, what does it mean to be so good at the national level in all events?
READ: Anjum Moudgil finishes with four gold medals
“It surely means a lot to be National champion in both 10 and 50 metre events. When I won Commonwealth and World Cup medals in 50-metre event, I was asked by the media that if I wanted to shift my focus to just one event rather than all three. In a way, it is good to let people know that one can be good in more than one thing,’’ she said.
Anjum had won both the 50-metre rifle prone and 3-position gold the last time as well in Kerala in the National championship. She had also won the mixed air rifle event with Arjun Babuta. She was sixth in air rifle then. The blemish possibly happened last time because Anjum had to ‘’go to the hospital because of bad stomach’’. This time, she had a cook accompanying her from Chandigarh to Kerala. Apart from treating some of her friends, she also carried lunch for coach Deepali.
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“Anjum’s mind works on a single track. Once she finds a way of working, she sticks to it and would not explore other options unless told. That is the reason she performs consistently. She is very choosy about people around her and can easily detach herself from anything, be it results or people. Both these things make her a perfect performer’’, observed Deepali.
On her part, Anjum is only looking up to having consistent exposure to prepare her best for all the events over the next two years, for Tokyo Olympics. “Everyone should get a chance to prove themselves and win the Olympic quota. I really wish I get to train for Tokyo by participating and shooting good in upcoming internationals in all events,’’ Anjum said.
With the overwhelming show in the National championship, Anjum has laid a solid foundation for the season ahead.
She put things in perspective nicely, in terms of domestic and international performance.
“Any competiton I play will help me in one way or the other to train well for Tokyo. National championship is equally a high pressure experience. So being on top of India will only give me more confidence to trust myself in being the best in the world,’’ she concluded.
With a Masters degree in sports psychology and an artistic bent of mind, Anjum has the ability to excel in everything she does. “I wish to take the cook with me everywhere’’, said Anjum on a lighter note, before assuring, “I will work more hard to preserve this form and get better’’.
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