Anjum Moudgil confident of giving her best in Tokyo

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Kolkata: World Championships silver medallist Anjum Moudgil is “very confident” of doing well in both 10m air rifle and 50m rifle 3 positions at the Tokyo Olympics scheduled to be held later this year.

With the Indian squad yet to be announced, Moudgil said she can only give her best in whatever competition she is taking part as selection for multiple events at Tokyo is not in her hands.

But the 26-year-old added that while 50m rifle 3 positions in an event she owns, she is getting better at 10m air rifle with results being a reflection.

“I am super eager to shoot both the events. I would love to. I dream of shooting both the events. I don’t really think about going just for one event or whatever it is as that is not in my hand. I can give my best in all competitions I play,” Moudgil told IANS at Bellary in Karnataka after the conclusion of a High-Performance training camp for elite shooters at the Inspire Institute of Sport (IIS).

Moudgil was the first Indian athlete to make the cut for the Olympics by winning a silver medal in 10m air rifle at the 2018 World Championships in Changwon.

Since then, Moudgil, by her own admission, started focusing more on a 10m air rifle, which she used to do “for fun” prior to the World Championships.

“I always loved three positions because it was more challenging than any other event. So I used to enjoy it and still do. Maybe I was much better in three positions before 2018 than air, but all my individual medals are in the air right now.

“So, it’s not like I was bad at it before, but maybe not there at the top. However, since 2018, everything changed and everyone around me is like comparing my three positions and air. It’s just two events. It’s just that three positions need much more training and the air is just one thing.

“After the quota, I have actually started focusing on air rifles. Before it was just for fun. Now also it’s for fun, but I think not many people let it be like that,” Moudgil said, smiling.

Since bagging an Olympic quota, Moudgil has not been part of the Indian team in 50m rifle 3 positions as she is eligible to shoot in that event also at Tokyo owing to her Minimum Qualification Score (MQS) along with 10m air rifle in which she bagged the quota.

The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), in their bid to maximize quota places, thus kept her out until the upcoming ISSF World Cup in Delhi from March 15, after all, 15 quota places were sealed.

“I am very confident with three positions and air,” she reiterated.

Asked about the pressure of expectation and also this being her first Olympics, Moudgil, who has a master’s degree in sports psychology, said: “I don’t know what to expect, but I sure know how to go about in big games.

“Commonwealth Games was a very good example and learning as a game. So I think I am prepared. I have seen so many videos and experiences from everyone around about how everything is at the Olympics. I am really looking forward to it. It’s something every athlete dreams of. I am ready to give my best because what we shoot there, it’s like what we are doing from the last 10 years,” she signed off.

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