After having won silver in the individual 50m prone event in the recently-held ISSF Junior World Cup in Germany, 20-year-old R. Surabhi Bharadwaj is aiming to win an Olympic medal.
“Well, the World Cup being my first international competition, I was excited and a little timid competing with the world’s top players. The extreme weather change, wind assessment during game and competing with top players from different countries built up pressure, but being self-confident made me give my best,” Surabhi told Sportstar on her return home.
Surabhi said she didn’t have high expectations of herself from the World Cup.
“Before leaving for Suhl, Germany, there was not much expectation as it was my first international exposure. Of course, with this medal I could make my place on par with other top shooters at international level. Now, the target shifts to the World Cups with the ultimate goal being to be an Olympic medallist.
“As everyone knows, it is an expensive sport and though my parents have been supporting me till date, I am definitely looking forward to the State government’s support to realise my bigger goals. We have preparatory camps in Delhi from June 15 for the upcoming World Cups and I am keen to keep improving each day. I am grateful to my coach Bibaswan Ganguly. But for his great encouragement, everything in the sport would have remained a dream,” Surabhi said.
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Surabhi, a third-year engineering student, trains at the Gun for Glory, an academy run by London Olympics bronze medallist Gagan Narang. “Right now, I don’t have a rifle of my own and I’m training with the one provided at the Gun For Glory Academy, run by Gagan sir. And I feel it is time I have a qualified physio and a mental ability trainer to enhance my performances,” Surabhi said.
“Well, being part of Gun For Glory, I am also into the Leap Project in which the GFG supports selected players for one year. Grateful to Gagan sir, who is also my favourite shooter along with Abhinav Bindra, for always sharing his technical expertise and his own experiences before any major selections or competitions which are so enlightening given his own reputation as a world class shooter,” she said.
Interestingly, Surabhi and Esha Singh, the other gifted shooter from the city, are “pretty good friends. It is a pleasure to be with her,” she concluded.