Elite Indian shooters enjoy visit to Hampi

Elite Indian shooters had a look at Indian history in Hampi during their High Performance training camp at the Inspire Institute of Sports set up by JSW.

Elite Indian shooters during the visit of Hampi in the course of the High Performance Training Camp in Inspire Institute of Sports in Vijayanagar.

Elite Indian shooters during the visit of Hampi in the course of the High Performance Training Camp in Inspire Institute of Sports in Vijayanagar.   -  KAMESH SRINIVASAN

Walking in bright sunshine, and watching the ruins of the historic Hampi, the elite Indian shooters had a look at Indian history, during their High Performance training camp at the Inspire Institute of Sports set up by Jindal Steel Works (JSW).

‘’I had always wanted to come to Hampi. This was a good chance, and we had a great time. All my family members had visited it earlier’’, said Asian Games gold medallist Rahi Sarnobat, who reads four books at a time, and has a good sense of history.

It was a four-day camp for the shooters who had won the Olympic quota, and 11 of them benefited from listening to the various experts that the JSW arranged during the stint, including an interactive media session.

While Olympian Mairaj Ahmad Khan had to leave for home on Saturday morning, the rest of the shooters along with coaches Suma Shirur and Ved Prakash Pilaniya, had a good outing in the morning on Saturday, visiting the temples and other rock marvels of the Krishnadevaraya period.

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‘’We don’t have a range here. So, we were having only physical conditioning. It is a very good facility. For me, it was an off period and it suited nicely to be here and visit the places with the team’’, said World Championship silver medallist Anjum Moudgil.

‘’I had been practising a few things, and it was a confirmation of my methods, while listening to the experts here’’, said Rahi, quite confident about her shooting and the way she has preparing methodically for the Tokyo Olympics for the last few years, even before she won the Olympic quota.

‘’I have the experience of being there, and not being there!’’, said Rahi when reminded that she had competed in the London Olympics and had missed the Rio Games in 2016.

Apurvi Chandela who had a memorable 2019, winning World Cup gold medals twice, with world record to boot, was thrilled to find a little monkey and giving her leg a hug, after she had treated it with a banana, at the Virupaksha Temple in Hampi.

‘’It was a cute sight’’, said Manisha Malhotra, who has been working with the athletes for the JSW, and who had arranged the camp and the tour.

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For the young shooters like Manu Bhaker, Yashaswini Deswal, Chinki Yadav, Divyansh Singh Panwar along with Abhishek Verma and Deepak Kumar, it was a memorable experience, travelling in the rocky terrain. Only the young Ashwary Pratap Singh Tomar opted to stay back at the Institute, and not join the rest of the shooters on the visit of Hampi.

Four shooters who had won the Olympic quota, Saurabh Chaudhary, Sanjeev Rajput, Tejaswini Sawant and Angad Vir Singh Bajwa were unable to join the educative camp, owing to various reasons.

‘’Empowering the athletes with knowledge and the right technological support is our focus’’, said Manisha who was the administrator of the Mittal Champions Trust when its ace athlete Abhinav Bindra won the Olympic gold in the Beijing Games in 2008.

Education and entertainment went hand in hand for the ace shooters, who have so much expectations riding on them for the Tokyo Olympics. For the world beating shooters, it was time to soak some history and digest some key points to sustain their high standard.

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