Barely 16,Mampi Das seems on target for shooting glory

In the recently concluded trials for the Asian Air Gun Championship to be held in China next month,Mampi shot a perfect 400 out of 400.

Written by Chinmay Brahme | Published:September 14, 2012 4:14 am

In the recently concluded trials for the Asian Air Gun Championship to be held in China next month,Mampi shot a perfect 400 out of 400

With her eyes shut,Mampi Das sat motionless on a chair in front of her lane at the Balewadi shooting range. She maintained her trance-like state for a good ten minutes before her event. “I was reviewing the procedures that I have to follow to shoot a perfect shot once I put my cheek to the rifle,” she said. Das proceeded to shoot a remarkable 398 out of a possible 400,which put her in provisional first place in the standings of the 10m air rifle ahead of Saturday’s final.

Das is only 16,but has already represented the senior Indian team at the ISSF World Championships in Milan and Munich in May. She has been in great form over the past month. In the recently concluded trials for the Asian Air Gun Championship,which will be held in China next month,Mampi shot a perfect 400 out of 400.

The teenager has been noted for her composure and her concentration and has managed to make quite a few heads turn. Former world-champion Anjali Bhagwat,who shot 397 out of 400 in the qualifiers,called Das an incredible talent. “Mampi is a very focused and hugely talented shooter. Her scores have been rising at every event and I think she has the potential to be one of India’s best shooters,” said Bhagwat.

Das said she was not intimidated by the prospect of coming up against seasoned shooters like Bhagwat and Tejaswini Muley in the final.

“I shot so well today because there was absolutely no pressure on me. I have always considered (World number two) Sonja Pfeilschifter as my closest rival and no one else,” she said.

German shooter Pfeilschifter,41,has won two World Championship titles and four World Cups between 1994 and 2010 in the 10m air rifle event.

Das,who topped her qualifying detail,brushed off her achievement,saying that only half her job was done. “I have shot well in the qualifiers and that has given me confidence. But I need to shoot even better than this if I have to win the gold medal in the final,” said Das.

If Das bags the gold,she will qualify for the Challenger Cup,in which medallists from both the men’s and women’s events challenge each other to a shoot-off. “I want to challenge Gagan (Narang) bhaiyya in the Challenger Cup. Shooting against him would be an awesome experience,” she said.

Unfortunately,Das will not be able to challenge Narang,since the Olympic bronze medallist is not participating in the competition.

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