No break in sight, Indian markswomen say aim is to be 'perfectly ready' for Olympics

·3-min read

New Delhi, Mar 25 (PTI) Their medal-winning run at the World Cup notwithstanding, some of India's leading markswomen don't see themselves taking it easy even for a day as they look to iron out the chinks in their armour in the lead-up to the Tokyo Olympics.

Postponed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to be held from July 23 to August 8 and four months before the showpiece begins, the Indian shooters have displayed incredible form, so far winning 10 gold medals in the ongoing ISSF World Cup in the national capital.

The pistol triumvirate of Chinky Yadav, Rahi Sarnobat and Manu Bhaker have shone the brightest.

'I think we have no break right now, we have very few days and few weeks. We don't have many competitions before the Olympics, so every competitions count in terms of experience and lessons, which we will be needing to improve our skills in the training,' Sarnobat said.

'So, even in this competition, we have learnt so many things and we will work on that, so no break, just working on that,' the seasoned shooter added.

Sarnobat combined with Yadav and Bhaker to clinch the women's 25m pistol team gold here on Thursday, a day after they swept the individual final by winning all the medals on offer.

'This is the last (international) event before Olympics. We have Nationals next so we will be preparing for Nationals, will see what we do if the dates for Nationals change. Our aim is to be perfectly ready before the Olympics start,' Yadav said.

Bhaker added, 'We have Nationals coming up, so the entire focus will be on preparations and rectifying our mistakes.' A Youth Olympics, Commonwealth Games and World Cup gold medallist, Bhaker is glad to be competing against international shooters after a long gap.

'Seeing the foreign teams, it felt really good because after a very long time, we are playing in a world level competition.

'There wasn't much rush here but there were some good teams as well, so we have some sort of idea now like how it is going to be in the Olympics and also other events,' Bhaker said.

The Indian trio shot a total of 17 to beat Poland's Joanna Iwona Wawrzonowska, Julita Borek and Agnieszka Korejwo, who managed to score 7 on Thursday.

Even though Yadav won the individual gold on Wednesday, it was senior shooter and Asian Games champion Sarnobat, who was the most impressive in the team final as she shot a series of five out five hits (seven) out of the 12 five-shot series that were required to win the match.

Sarnobat emphasised on playing in competitions, saying there is no replacement for that.

'Now we have shot after a year or more than that, every competition is important. We are are not in the flow of competitions, maybe some things are working in the competition and some things are not.

'So now we know all that is working and what is not. So we will work on that...Only competition will tell us what is working and what is not because, in training, everything works,' Sarnobat said. PTI AH PM PM