Yashaswini Singh: ISSF World Cup gold a much-needed boost

The medal in Rio de Janeiro “came at the right time,” says the Indian shooter.

Yashaswini Singh Deswal... “My actual journey has now begun after winning the medal.”   -  PTI

The gold medal at the ISSF World Cup has been reassuring for Yashaswini Singh Deswal.

“My hard work finally bore fruit,” she told PTI at a function here.

The 22-year-old secured India’s ninth Oympic quota after clinching the top prize in the women’s 10m air pistol in Rio de Janeiro. In an authoritative display, the former junior world champion recorded 236.7 in the eight-woman final to defeat Ukraine’s Olena Kostevych, the No. 1 shooter.

‘On the right track’

“I feel very happy after winning the medal and quota place. My hard work finally bore fruit. For me, this medal is a reassurance that I was on the right track. It came at the right time. I needed this boost.” she said.

“My actual journey has now started after winning the medal and it will be as important as winning the quota. Whatever is the competition, every shot will be important and I’ll have to produce my absolute best,” added the Jakarta Asian Games bronze medallist.

Yashaswini felt she needed to improve her scores — she had aggregated 582 to top the qualifications in Rio — as the Olympics approaches. “Technically, I don’t have to make any major adjustment but I have to improve my shot timing in each tournament and of course work on physical conditioning,” she said.

‘Little things’

“I will have to work on the little things which will help me in my journey to the Olympics. Now the trials are going on and then there is Asian Championship and World Finals,” she added.

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Asked about her role model, Yashaswini said: “In the Indian team, Jitu Rai is my all time favourite. I really idolise him. I sometimes speak to him and seek his advice. He has achieved so much only on the basis of his hard work and he has seen ups and downs in life. It is very motivating, so I really look up to him.”

‘Good competition’

Yashaswini, who also won a silver medal partnering Abhishek Verma in mixed 10m air pistol, said she takes inspiration from young colleagues such as Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary. “The Indian team is giving good competition to each other. Each player boosts the performance of others. All the youngsters are so motivated and it is inspiring,” she said.

How did she take up shooting?

“My uncle was in Army. He was on the verge of taking VRS and we had gone to his unit and I had fired with army guns but it was very different and I was amused by the experience. I later went to Commonwealth Games in 2010 and there I met my coach,” she said.