She is only 14, but Esha Singh is not exactly taking baby steps in the world of shooting.
Esha was quite thrilled to win the junior women’s air pistol silver and the mixed air pistol bronze medal with Gaurav Rana, in the 2019 Junior World Cup.
Back home from Suhl, Germany, the ninth standard student of Bolton School, Secunderabad, Esha was able to savour her win.
"I am really thrilled with my performance. It was the biggest Junior World Cup. It was tough competition. Staying healthy and focused was the key. And my father helped me achieve that," said Esha, quite thankful to her dad, Sachin Singh who accompanied her to Germany.
The scores may not have been her best, as Esha had won the Asian junior gold with a better fare in Chinese Taipei earlier this season. But, considering the intensity of competition on the global stage, Esha was quite happy with her performance.
"Winning at the Asian level felt good. But it is a different thrill to win on the world stage. I am grateful to the NRAI (national federation) and Gagan sir for the great support," said Esha, who has been guided by Gun For Glory, run by World and Olympic medallist Gagan Narang.
Elaborating on the subject, Esha explained that it was important to perform to the best of one’s ability in given situations rather than worry about the relative scores.
"I usually don’t have expectations. The whole aim is to keep my mind cool and focus on the technique," she said.
There was fine preparation at home, and Esha had done remarkably well, with the scores as well, during the Kumar Surendra Singh Championship and the fifth selection trials at the Dr. Karni Singh Range in Delhi.
"The real challenge is the weather, food and travel. The changes can lead to mental fatigue and following your routine may become tough. That makes the competition hard when we travel abroad. The challenge is to overcome all this and perform your best," she stressed, highlighting her innate understanding of the basics.
After having topped the first stage of qualification in mixed air pistol, Esha and Gaurav missed a chance for a better medal in the second qualification phase.
"The match was tough. We were actually happy and satisfied to beat the Chinese team for the medal," Esha recalled.
Her goal is to be ready for the Youth Olympics, and subsequently the Olympics in 2024.
To make things more interesting, Esha also competes in the 25-metre sports pistol, which is a lot more challenging.
"The 25-metre is a fast game. I really enjoy it and getting good at it. I focus on both 10-metre and 25-metre events," Esha said.
After the 20th place in air pistol last year, Esha had done remarkably well to raise to the silver medal this time. She had a modest score of 560 in sports pistol this year, for the 41st place. Who knows, she may be ready to reach for the medals in the next edition, in the 25-metre event as well.
After sweeping the women’s, junior and youth gold medals in air pistol, in the last National championship in Thiruvananthapuram, Esha has nicely stepped it up on the international stage.
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