Ayush Rudraraju: 'Imperative for me to stay cool, focused'

Ayush Rudraraju, who will be competing in his third ISSF Junior World Cup shooting championship in Sydney, is not in the mood to get into the trap of expectations.

Ayush feels that the coming edition of the junior World Cup should give a clear hint of where he exactly stands in the big league.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

At 16, Ayush Rudraraju will be competing in his third ISSF Junior World Cup shooting championship in Sydney from March 19. And, with changes in technique and another long stint of training under new coach Pietro Jenga of Italy, this young shooter is determined to prove a point or two.

“I am high on confidence but it doesn’t mean talking big. I know it will be a different world out there in a World Cup. The competition will be intense and it is a huge challenge to stay focused. But importantly, the training sessions have been really good and I am feeling more at ease,” says the young Hyderabadi who will try his luck in skeet category.

“Definitely, the onus is on me to showcase whatever I have learnt in the camp on the big stage. Well, every edition of World Cup will throw up new bunch of quality shooters especially from Italy and USA but I am up for the task,” says a confident Ayush.

Despite coming from the city which produced the 2012 London Olympics bronze medallist and ace shooter Gagan Narang, Ayush is not in the mood to get into the trap of expectations. “It is imperative for me to stay cool, focused. And this is what we have been training right through under Pietro and he has been such an inspirational coach knowing fully what each shooter needs to up the ante,” explains the articulate Ayush, a student of Oakridge School in the city.

Importantly, this young shooter is aware of the fact that he badly needs an international medal to give his career the desired thrust. “I am equally conscious of the fact that a medal in a World Cup should give a new direction to my career. I badly need it and have been really working hard to realise this one big dream,” says the India Junior No.1 shooter.

For someone who first represented India in the 2014 Junior World Cup, Ayush feels that the coming edition should also give a clear hint of where he exactly stands in the big league and what kind of corrective measures he has to take even as he braces up for the Junior Grand Prix and the World Juniors later this year.

“Well, the top three in India will make it to the Asian Games competitions. In that context too, it is imperative for me to raise the bar and realise that dream of representing the country in such a prestigious championship,” says Ayush.