Varsha thrilled with the golden start

The 24-year-old Harvard graduate had won the silver medal behind Snehlata Rajawat in 2013, before she went to the US, and was understandably thrilled to better that performance.

Varsha Varman, who won the National championship trap gold in Jaipur, exults at her feat.   -  Special Arrangement

Champions pull themselves up to be at their best, when the chips are down. Varsha Varman demonstrated that in the National Shotgun championship in Jaipur, as she overcame a poor second round of 19 to win her maiden gold medal in women’s trap.

The 24-year-old Harvard graduate had won the silver medal behind Snehlata Rajawat in 2013, before she went to the US, and was understandably thrilled to better that performance.

‘’I was not really competing with the others. I was trying to do my best. Even though I have not had that much training, my level is higher. I love to perform under pressure’’, said Varsha.

Unperturbed by the poor score in that second round, Varsha analysed her mistake, and went on to shoot impressive rounds of 24, 23 and 24 to make the final in the second place with 114, two points behind Manisha Keer.

Read: Varsha Varman clinches women's trap gold

‘’It is a mental sport. Sometimes you don’t know why the score goes down. I try to figure out on my own. I like dong it’’, said Varsha.

Having been exposed to competition at the range a week earlier, with all the best shooters before the National Championship, Varsha was better prepared to tackle the challenge, even though she had shot only 108, third in qualification, and had finished fifth eventually.

‘’It was a good learning experience. Shagun Chowdhary won that competition. I had trained very very less. I try to do quality training. I had hardly shot for the final. I had trained a little in Bhopal’’, recalled Varsha, who has changed her outlook following education in one of the best institutions in the world.

‘’I have hardly done any shooting in the US. Whatever I did was American trap. In the first two years I was in rowing and the next two years in rugby. I learnt a lot. You learn to combine the best of sports with studies. That is the philosophy’’, she observed.

The good performance is a validation of what she has been pursuing, but Varsha was quick to point out that ‘’shooting is a very unforgiving sport. You have to be perfect’’.

Varsha has been part of the Indian team for the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games in double trap, which is not an Olympic event. She missed a medal by one point in the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, and found the competition really hard in the Asian Games in Palembang, as she placed seventh .

Of course, she had won the team bronze in the Asian Games in Incheon in 2014.

Varsha is prepared to work her way into the national team and try to win the Olympic quota for 2020. She had been part of the trap team in the World Cup in Tucson this season where she shot 86 and improved that to 107 in the World Championship in Changwon.

‘’I hope to train well and shoot the trials better to make the national team. I do have a long way to go. All I can do is to put in the work. It all depends on God and the day’’, she remarked.