On Sunday, as the Panchkula duo of Yashaswini Deswal and Gauri Sheoran took part in the junior women’s 10 M air pistol event along with Shreya Gwande in the Junior World Cup in Suhl, Germany, it was a tense moment for the shooters.
Already in the finals, 17-year-olds Deswal and Sheoran had been in Europe for close to a month and had also to cope up with rainy conditions for the last one week. But Deswal led the Indian team with a score of 382 along with Sheoran’s score of 376 and Gwande’s 377, and the Indian team won the silver medal in the junior women’s team 10 m air pistol event with a score of 1,137during the ISSF Junior World Cup.
The Indian team narrowly missed the gold medal to Russia as they had less number of inner 10s. Deswal also finished eighth in the individual category in the same event.
“It was a tough final. The conditions were tough as it had been raining for the last few days. The weather was cold but we adjusted our game well. I am happy that I scored the highest score in the team but we are a bit disappointed on losing the gold medal. It was a narrow finish. But this performance has given me a lot of confidence. I will be preparing for the senior trials after coming back to India and this performance will boost my confidence a lot,” said Deswal, who passed her 12th exam recently from Bhavan Vidyalaya, Sector 27, Chandigarh.
Daughter of IPS SS Deswal, Yashaswini started the sport in 2011 and soon hit the headlines by winning medals on the national circuit. But her breakthrough moment came when she made it to the Indian team for the Youth Olympics held in China in June last year. The youngster then won the national title in the 10m air pistol women’s junior event in the 58th national shooting championship held at Pune. Earlier this month, Deswal once again hogged the limelight when she won the bronze medal in the Individual women’s 10 m air pistol event with a career-high score of 386 in the 25th Shooting Hopes Memorial Championship held in Plezen, Czech Republic, apart from bagging two medals in team events along with Sheoran.
“Yashaswini is a disciplined, hard working, intelligent and consistent shooter. In the nationals in Pune last year, she shot a score of 384 to claim the title and scored better than many bigger-ranked shooters in the final. She is having a good run and she needs to compete in more tournaments. She runs daily for 5 km to increase her physical endurance. Now our aim would be to bag a medal in the Asian Senior Championships to be held in Kuwait in November later this year,” said Tejinder Singh Dhillon, Yashaswini’s coach and an international coach and judge in ISSF tournament.
Like Deswal, Gauri too started the sport at her home in Sector 6, Chandigarh, and won her first national medal in the School National Games in 2011. Sheroan, whose father Jagdeep Singh (IAS) is Haryana director sports, also claimed a bronze medal in the nationals held in 2012 apart from being a part of the Indian junior team which won two medals team events in the Czech Republic event where Deswal was her team-mate once again.
“Gauri started pistol shooting two years ago and with her brother also in the sport, she has been a consistent shooter for the junior team. Earlier she finished seventh in the junior category in the world cup in Grenada and this performance will boost her confidence. Her biggest strength has been her bold approach and hard work,” said D S Chandel, Sheoran’s coach.