It was a felicitation function for the elite shooters, preparing for the Olympics in Tokyo, by the JSW family. The packed arena at the J-Max theatre, reverberated with thunderous applause as the shooters gave a glimpse of their powerful mind, with invaluable advice, to the young aspirants.
In an interactive session, in which the parents and the children, some of them sportspersons themselves, threw a variety of questions to the shooters, who handled them with admirable poise, after a five-day training stint at the Inspire Institute of Sports. Asian Games silver medallist Deepak Kumar stole everyone’s hearts during the felicitation, and later when he came up with pearls of wisdom.
"It is an individual journey. You have to break the chain. Always remember Newton’s third law, the more you push me down, the stronger I will come up’’, said Deepak, when a young judoka asked how she should deal with a non-supportive family and demotivating remarks.
"My father doesn’t know about shooting. But I have worked hard to make sure that he is known by my identity. I studied at Gurukul. I was told that I should at least shoot well, as education was not happening well. I worked hard to reach this far’’, Deepak added.
Retired army personnel admired the accuracy of the shooters and wondered as to how they were able to achieve such perfect "grouping’’ on the target when he struggled to do so all his life. National pistol coach Ved Prakash Pilaniya assuaged his hurt, by saying that the weapon and ammunition used for the competition were of much superior quality, and the ones used in the army were meant for a different purpose and thus naturally lack matching accuracy.
"I have also been in the army, I know the weapons. There is a big difference. Of course, the effort of the shooters is there, but weapon and ammunition matter a lot to get high accuracy’’, said Ved Prakash.
Asian Games gold medallist Rahi Sarnobat thanked the "boys in the team’’ wholeheartedly for being part of such a wonderful team.
"There is no difference between boys and girls. We are one team. There is no difference in the specifications of the weapons and ammunition. Special thanks to the boys in the team’’, said Rahi, when queried about the possible difficulties of being a sportswoman, and training with men.
When queried about handling pressure, Abhishek Verma, who won two gold medals in air pistol in the World Cups last year, said that "confidence and responsibility’’ came together.
"We see the Indian flag and there is a dearth of motivation to perform at our best. We work hard to shoot our best’’, said Abhishek.
Chinki Yadav who won the women’s sports pistol quota place said that there was no problem wearing spectacles and competing as a shooter, as glasses and lens were being used in the sport. "Physically there is no problem. It is more mental. If you train well, you shoot well’’, said Chinki.
When asked how much time was devoted for preparation, World championship silver medallist Anjum Moudgil said that it was "24 hours a day and 365 days a year’’.
"You may train for shooting only for four or five hours, but you have to take care of so many things through the day, including your sleep etc. So it is round the clock, through the year’’, said Anjum.
Divyansh Singh Panwar who ended last year as the World No.1 in men’s air rifle was honest to admit that his father dreamed that he would excel in the sport of shooting. "I am shooting from the age of 12. With good coaching and good support, I have been able to reach a high standard’’, said Divyansh.
On its part, the JSW family assured that they would pray for the shooters to win gold medals in Tokyo Olympics.
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