Hungary shooter Veronika Major sees bright future for online championship

Veronika Major, double gold-medallist at the 2019 Delhi shooting World Cup, was full of praise for the online shooting championship.

Veronika Major won the gold in 10m air pistol and 25m pistol events in the 2019 ISSF World Cup in New Delhi.   -  ISSF

Hungarian pistol shooter Veronika Major, like any other sportsperson at present, has been confined within the four walls of her room in Keszthely since mid-March.

With the coronavirus pandemic wreaking havoc worldwide, sports has taken a beating, with most major tournaments cancelled or suspended indefinitely. The 23-year-old, however, believes that the current crisis has its pros and cons. “The downside is that there are no competitions and no training camps. However, the good side is that we can experiment with new techniques that we have not had the time for so far,” she told Sportstar.

The markswoman arguably had the most memorable outing of her career in New Delhi, a year ago, when she bagged twin gold medals in the 10m air pistol and 25m pistol events in the ISSF World Cup. To top it all off, she also confirmed her place in the Tokyo Olympics with the 25m pistol win. With the event at the capital cancelled this year, the Olympic quota holder was quite disappointed. “When I learned that the Delhi World Cup was called off, I was very sad as it is always a great experience to be in India. I hope to have the opportunity to compete there again in the near future. It will be missed.”

As a shooter, she believes the most difficult task during the downtime is keeping up with her regular training regime in the physical absence of her coach  . The World No. 6 in 25m pistol says, “The most difficult thing is the lack of contact. We bridge this difficulty using online video chat, but it requires me to be in tune with my coach. If we don’t understand what the other is saying, online training can’t work effectively. But I do contact him with all my questions and he helps me to the best of his ability. That's why I can only be grateful to him.”

Veronika believes that the crisis is “a difficult one for everyone” and the safest possible decision had been arrived at when the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo was postponed. “I am sad about the postponement, but everyone needs to realize that this is the best decision for the benefit of the athletes and coaches.”

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Veronika was full of praise for shooter Shimon Sharif and IndianShooting.com for bringing shooters from across the globe together through their online shooting championship. “He (Shimon) created opportunities by organizing a competition that bridges continents and time zones, showing that the sport-shooting community is like a big family.

“Through the online competition, no matter what location we are in, we participate and I think it is possible for an online competition to be held in the future in order to keep the form and the competition routine,” said the World Record-holder in 25m pistol.

The online competition eliminates the concept of men and women taking part in separate events. The last time such a spectacle was witnessed in a major event was during the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. “It is interesting that members of both sexes are competing against each other. I think it helps us notice our shortcomings, and gives us the ability to develop more.”