Esha Singh, waiting to hit the bull's eye in Tokyo

The former junior World Cup silver medallist is a member of the core group of shooters picked by the National Rifle Association of  India for the next Olympics.

Junior World Cup medallist and shooter Esha Singh of Hyderabad.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

 

Fifteen-year-old shooter Esha Singh can now dream to represent India in the next Olympics. The former junior World Cup silver medallist is a member of the core group of shooters picked by the National Rifle Association of  India for the next edition of Olympics.

It is a great opportunity as she “missed out narrowly in the Olympic trials held in March this year for the originally scheduled Games this year”.

"I am proud to be named in the group and frankly I was not expecting this even though I was pleased with the way I have been performing in the international circuit before the lockdown,” says Esha, who won the Asian junior championship 10 m air pistol gold last November.

"I am not going to Delhi for the shooting ranges there are opened only for those who need them and it is not a national camp which I should attend compulsorily,” says Esha, who is thankful to her sponsors Pooja Crafted Homes, Olympic Gold Quest and Indian Oil Corporation.

READ| NRAI announces 32-member core group to train for Tokyo Olympics

"Definitely, like all top athletes, I enjoy my training sessions even now with SAI coach Ved Prakash sir monitoring them. This is the reason why there is so much of positive energy in my case,” she adds.

“I don’t think there will be any big changes in my training schedule. With the scenario being very grim because of the pandemic, I am not too inclined to go to a shooting range to train for obvious reasons,” says Esha, who is inspired by London Olympics bronze medallist Gagan Narang.

Not surprisingly, Esha will continue to focus on her pet event - 10m air pistol - till the next Olympics under the mentorship of her father-cum-coach Sachin Singh. She is training at her residence to stay in touch with the sport.

"Definitely, training in these conditions means the intensity will not be the same as when we train in the ranges. But, it is important to keep yourself focussed mentally and physically,” says the 10th standard student of Bolton School here.

Singh also said it was a pleasant surprise when his daughter was named in the core group. "Our target was to make it to 2024 Olympics and also the Youth Olympics. Anyhow, this is a huge morale-booster to her,” he says.

"But, we don't want to invite any pressure on her because of this welcome development," he adds.

 "Training in these conditions is different. The biggest challenge for any athlete is how she responds in a major championship for the pulse rate, heartbeat will be different in those conditions. Even psychologically, it would be totally different,” he explained.

Singh has asked Telangana Sports Minister V. Srinivas Goud to look into the cash incentive of Rs 75 lakh which is due for Esha's national and international achievements. "We hope to get a positive response soon,” he says.

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