When I started shooting, I didn’t know about Arjuna award, Olympics, says shooter Anjum Moudgill

Jagpreet Singh Sandhu
Shooter Anjum Moudgill.

On Saturday, as Chandigarh resident Anjum Moudgill got the news of her recommendation for the Arjuna award, the 24-year-old shooter was preparing for her departure for the upcoming ISSF World Cup to be played in Brazil next week. Moudgill and Chandigarh footballer 27-year-old Gurpreet Singh Sandhu are among the 19 players recommended for the prestigious national award.

It feels good to hear that my name has been recommended by the committee for the Arjuna award. When I started shooting, I did not know about Arjuna award or Olympics. All my focus was on to learn the sport and to do well in the sport. As I competed in various tournaments, I understood such moments are part of the journey as a sportsperson and today is a special day for me and my family. Such moments are the fruit of all the hard work. Unfortunately, I will be not part of the ceremony on August 29 as I am competing in the ISSF World Cup in Brazil but it feels special to be recommended for the award, shared Moudgill, who won one of the Olympic quota for India in the 10 M Air Rifle event last year with a silver medal finish in ISSF World Cup in Korea.

Daughter of advocate Sudershan Moudgill and teacher Shubh Moudgill, Anjum had started shooting as part of her NCC training and would finish 22nd in 10m Air Rifle, apart from seventh and 14th-place finishes in 50m Rifle 3P and prone events respectively in her first nationals. The following years would see her winning more than 30 medals in various categories in the nationals apart from a gold medal in South Asian games in 2016 and a silver medal in World University games in Poland in 2017.

Last year the youngster won the silver medal in the 50 m 3P event in the ISSF World Cup in Mexico before winning the silver medal in the same event in Commonwealth games in Australia. It was followed by her securing the 10 M Air Rifle Olympic quota for India in ISSF World Cup in Korea. Last month, Moudgill shot a world record score of 253.9 to win the gold in 10 M Air Rifle event in 12th Sardar Sajjan Singh Sethi Masters shooting championship in Delhi. Earlier this week, Anjum had won a total of five medals in World Police and Fire games in China.

Today s recommendation for the award is a big thing for Anjum. When she started shooting at NCC unit, she would spend hours training and seeing other shooters compete. It s her hard work and passion which has seen her win medals at national as well international level. I hope this is a start of new chapter in her career and she can also secure her place in Indian team for 2020 Olympics and win a medal in Tokyo, said Anjum s first coach Col Mohan Inder Singh Chauhan, who was the Group Commander, NCC Unit.

Footballer Gupreet Singh Sandhu, who started playing football at St Stephen s School Sector 45, had become the first Indian footballer to play for a European top pision league when he played for Stabaek FC in Norway. Sandhu has played in 33 matches for the Indian football team and also plays for Bengaluru FC. Gurpreet s passion has been football since he joined the St Stephen s Football Academy and it s a proud moment for him and the whole family. We hope it will inspire more children to take up football as a career, said Gurpreet s mother Harjit Kaur, who is a DSP in Chandigarh Traffic Police.