Apurvi, Anjum not resting on laurels

The two have stepped up their game so much that they not only top the chart in the country, but are the no. 1 and 2 in the world in women’s air rifle.

Apurvi Chandela (L) and Anjum Mougdil (R) pose with their medals after the 10m Air Rifle Women Event at the Changwon International Shooting Range during Day 2 of the 52nd ISSF World Championship. (File Photo)   -  ISSF Media

They are the first two Indian shooters to secure quota places for the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020.

The quota places belong to the country, however, and not to the individual shooters who win them. So, the onus is on Apurvi Chandela and Anjum Moudgil to stay ahead of the rest to ensure they're picked for the Olympics.

The two have stepped up their game so much that they not only top the chart in the country, but are the no. 1 and 2 in the world in women’s air rifle.

World Championship silver medallist Anjum was happy to regain her No. 2 spot in the world.

"I am happy to get back to rank no. 2 as I had slipped to no. 3 after January’’, said World Championship silver medallist Anjum.

She won the mixed gold in air rifle with Divyansh Singh Panwar in the Beijing World Cup to further consolidate her position. Anjum, a specialist in the 50-metre rifle 3-position event, holds the world record at 1180 out of 1200.

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The 26-year-old Apurvi won the Olympic quota by placing fourth in the last World Championship. She won the air rifle gold with a world record in Delhi in February, and then went on to top the qualification list in the World Cup in Beijing.

Apurvi who had competed in the last Olympics in Rio after winning the World Cup Final silver and a World Cup bronze. She shot to prominence with the Commonwealth Games gold medal in Glasgow in 2014.

"It does bring joy considering all the reactions and how much it means to those whom I care about. It is a dream come true personally, but there is still a lot left to do. I am focused on that", said Apurvi.

Even as she celebrates her rise to number one, despite not winning a medal in the World Cup in Beijing, Apurvi is looking to fine tune for the competitions ahead.

‘’I have a few more important competitions this year. So. I am training for that’’, said Apurvi.

There are two more World Cups, and top shooters like Apurvi and Anjum will be taking part in the World Cup Final. There's also the Asian Championship in Doha in November before the season winds up.

Some of the credit for the high standard of Indian women’s air rifle shooting should go to the young Elavenil Valarivan and Mehuli Ghosh.

"I think it is not about overtaking anyone. My focus is just not to repeat the mistakes I make, and learn as much as I can. And implement that in matches. I am just loving the process even more now", said Anjum and hinted about her sound attitude towards improving the quality of her shooting and consistency.

The Tokyo Olympics is the goal for these two ladies. The milestones along the way only strengthen their resolve to be at their energetic and technical best in July 2020.