Elavenil Valarivan thrilled after World Cup gold in Rio

The Indian shooter is “thrilled” with her gold medal in the women’s 10m air rifle competition at the ISSF Rifle-Pistol Stage 4 World Cup.

File Photo: Elavenil Valarivan... “This win will give me great confidence going ahead into other national and international competitions.”   -  PTI

Elavenil Valarivan came up with a classy performance to clinch the women’s air rifle gold in the shooting World Cup in Rio de Janeiro.

The 20-year-old Elavenil, who hails from Tamil Nadu and trains in Chennai with the Gun for Glory set up under the Project Leap scheme of mentor Gagan Narang, shot 251.7 in the final to beat Seonaid Mcintosh of Britain by 1.1 point.

This was a superb start for India, which had topped the medals tally in the first three World Cups in rifle and pistol in Delhi, Beijing and Munich. Elavenil, who has been based in Gujarat, also emphasised India’s dominance in the event, as it was the third individual gold in World Cups this season, following the two won by world No.1 Apurvi Chandela in Delhi and Munich.

After qualifying in the fourth place with 629.4, Elavenil jumped into the lead after the top three were tied on 147.1 after 14 shots in the 24-shot final. Elavenil enhanced the lead to 1.6 point over the Briton, before the last shot, and could get away with a below par 9.6 last shot.

Elavenil Valarivan on the podium after winning gold in World Cup in Rio de Janeiro.   -  Special Arrangement

 

"I am thrilled with this gold," said Elavenil, who was profuse in thanking mentor Gagan Narang, who incidentally received the Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Award from the President on Thursday, along with Pawan Singh, for the pioneering work in promoting shooting sports in the country.

Elavenil also expressed gratitude to coach Neha Chavan and mind trainer Kirtika Pandey for exceptional guidance that had helped her touch world standards consistently.

"Such performances are the real reward," said Narang, whose joy was doubled by Elavenil’s fireworks.

"Elavenil has made a beautiful transition to the seniors. We have worked very closely on her all these years and her success marks a special day for all of us at Gun for Glory," Narang said.

After a dominant performance in winning three World Cup individual gold medals in the Junior World Cups, this was a nice jump into the women’s league for Elavenil, who has been a regular in the national team along with World Championship silver medallist Anjum Moudgil and Apurvi Chandela this season.

Anjum shot 629.1 in qualification and placed sixth eventually. Apurvi missed the final by 0.6 point. Competing in the MQS section, Mehuli Ghosh shot 629.1.

Even before the final started, Ying-Shin Lin of Chinese Taipei and Armina Sadeghian of Iran had secured the two Olympic quota places on offer, as the other six in the final had already won the quota or were ineligible to win one.