Apurvi, the new star on the horizon

By Chetan Sharma in New Delhi R IO 2016 will be shooter Apurvi Chandela's first Olympics, and the 23- year- old from Jaipur could emerge as a surprise package in Brazil.

Eight years back, Apurvi decided to take up shooting after watching Abhinav Bindra win gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The 15- year old went to the range, tried her hand at both pistol and rifle shooting, and decided she preferred the rifle.

Four years later, Apurvi won the national championships in her first year on the senior circuit.

She burst on to the big stage with a gold medal in the women's 10m air rifle event at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Since then, she has won silver at the ISSF World Cup Final in Munich and a bronze at the ISSF World Cup in Korea.

More recently, she clinched two gold medals at the Swedish Cup Grand Prix in Sweden. She has been training under Kazakh coach Stanislas Lapidus and has just returned from a training stint in Switzerland.

With just few days left for the Olympics, Apurvi is leaving no stone unturned in her quest to win a medal.

" The preparation has been good and there is no need to feel nervous, this being my first Olympics. I will give my best.

Expectations will be there, I know people will have them from me as well," Apurvi told M AIL T ODAY . " An Olympic medal is a dream obviously. It was Abhinav Bindra sir's gold medal in Beijing which inspired me to take up shooting.

So I would like to win a medal for him," she said.

India is sending its largest ever contingent of athletes to an Olympic Games this year, with more than 100 sportspersons set to make the journey to Rio de Janeiro.

After winning a record six medals at London 2012, the expectation is that India will do even better at Rio 2016. Indian sport has been riding high in recent years and in disciplines like hockey, tennis, badminton, wrestling, archery, the country has a good chance of bringing home individual and team medals.

Having captured four medals at the last three Olympic Games, Indias shooting contingent at Rio will understandably be expected to return with a rich haul. India won two medals at the 2012 Olympics - Vijay Kumar's silver in 25m rapid fire pistol and Gagan Narang's bronze in the 10m air rifle.

" We have worked really hard and hopefully, we will get a rich haul to medals in Olympics this time. Our chances are bright this time thanks to our federation and coaches," Apurvi said.

She added that over the years, awareness about shooting as a sport has a grown manifold in the country.

" At every national tournament, we see more shooters participating and thats a good sign." She also said support from Olympic Gold Quest ( OGQ) has played a crucial role in her career with help coming in the form of equipment, ammunition and travel.

Source: Yahoo News

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