Gauri Sheoran: 'Shooting still my first priority'

The World University shooting champion targets a spot in the Indian team in sports pistol.

Gauri Sheoran is disappointed not to be able to defend her World University crown this year. Photo: Special Arrangement

Gauri Sheoran is the World University shooting champion in the 25-metre sports pistol, a memorable gold that she clinched in Kuala Lumpur last year.

The 21-year-old student of Masters Degree in Mass Communication at DAV College, Chandigarh, was preparing to defend her crown when the organisers of the 30th Summer Unversiade in Napoli, Italy, announced that her event was not being kept in the schedule. Only air pistol, air rifle, trap and skeet events form the Universiade shooting competition to be staged in July, 2019.

“I am disappointed, but we can’t do anything about it. I am part of the national squad and am preparing for the national training camp, Kumar Surendra Singh championship and the National selection trials,” said Gauri, who is ranked eighth in the country in women’s 25-metre sports pistol.

In fact, Gauri had been competing in Plzen and Hannover this season to sharpen her shooting and be prepared for the competitions ahead. She did try to train with coach Munkhbayar Dorjsuren, who has won two Olympic bronze medal in sports pistol — once each for Mongolia in Barcelona in 1992, and for Germany in Beijing in 2008.

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“Rahi Sarnobat, who won the Olympic quota and gold medal in the ongoing Munich World Cup, trains with her. My style of shooting is different and Munkhbayar’s coaching did not suit my technique,” remarked Gauri, who feels that if she tuned her mental approach, she could step it up in competition.

Staying sharp

Gauri practises yoga, works out in the gym, walks on the banks of the Sukhna Lake, and swims to stay sharp. She trains at the Dr. Karni Singh Range in Delhi, whenever possible. But there is no top class 25-metre range in Chandigarh for her to train.

It may not be easy to get into the Indian team in sports pistol, but Gauri says that she will keep trying. “In sports, anything is possible,” she said.

Does she expect to be a television anchor after finishing her Masters degree in Mass Communication? “I plan to get into fashion. I had to be part of a University to compete in the Universiade, and that is why I am doing this course,” said Gauri.

She, however, hastens to say that “shooting is still my first priority.”

Passion for sport

Gauri does a lot of social work to use sports as a tool for personality and career development, especially for the underprivileged. “Sports has taught me a lot. It has shown me different cultures, the need to adapt to situations and people, socially and mentally. Sports teaches you to stay humble, and keep on fighting,” said Gauri, who practices photography and takes her Audi Convertible for a spin. “I love driving the Convertible, listening to the music,” she said.

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The passion for sports has been inculcated from her father Jagdeep Singh, who helped in the remarkable development of infrastructure in Haryana during his tenure as the Director of Sports. Apart from winning many national and international medals, Gauri has won many awards, and is the face of many campaigns, including Vita, the Haryana dairy.

For someone who was part of the national junior team for about five years, and who made the women’s team for the World Cups in 2014, Gauri has not kept pace with the fast rising stars, owing perhaps to her varying interests. She will continue to aim for the bull’s eye until life takes its own course.

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