At the shotgun range,17-year-old Angad Vir Singh Bajwa stood at station five and called ‘pull’. Anticipating the lower house would spit a clay bird,he mounted his gun,planted his feet and took his stance to pull the trigger.
Nothing emerged. As he realised that the bird-throwing machine went out of stock,he removed his ear mugs in anger and stood gaping towards the operator. The range operator had no answer and rushed to the store room to stock the machine with clay birds. The entire process took no less than half an hour and literally put a break in Bajwa’s momentum.
The junior India champion had all the reason to show discontent because any interruption at this stage,a month before the World Championships in Peru,could hamper his training. All said and done,Bajwa finished his practice round on a high with a perfect 25.
This is a very important tournament for considering that everyone has expectations from me. Since I hold the junior record for shooting 114,this is a good platform to better my performance at international stage. I am currently practicing for long hours but such silly interruptions tend to break the momentum, says Bajwa.
Just a year into the sport,Bajwa has rocketed towards success. He already has four international appearances to his name. He shocked the skeet fraternity with his win at the very first junior Grand Prix in Belgrade. Then came the World Cups in Germany and Finland where Bajwa couldn’t deliver to his expectations. Recently though,at Porpetto in Italy where the third World Cup took place,he reached the finals and shot an identical 114.
I am in form and feel more confident about myself. I hope that our stint in Italy before the World Championships prove to be a learning curve. Rest I have to be calm and hope that I shoot perfectly, says Bajwa who,despite the fact that he might get a few tips from Olympic champion Ennio Falco,was corrected by his coach Mairaj Ahmed Khan who is also flying to Peru to represent the country in the senior category.
A student of the Sherwood College in Nainital,Bajwa has had a taste of different sports before finally settling for shotgun. He was a school champion in gymnastics till two years back and had his interests in floor exercises,pommel horse and parallel bars. Bajwa switched to more popular Indian sports cricket and football. These could no longer hold his interest and he made a swift shift to shooting,taking up 10m air pistol. Having spent just another six months in the indoor range,Bajwa realised that it wasn’t at all adventurous for him. Finally,the shotgun caught his fancy and since the last year,Bajwa has made it to the top of junior ranks.
This sport is certainly what I always desired for. My younger sister does pistol but she has started to realise that pistol might not be the sport for her as well. Honestly,shotgun has given me the chance to compete at the international stage and that is what my sister also thinks to eventually get into. What I like about this sport is the uncertainty that even though you might be shooting well,still you could miss a bird. It makes the sport more challenging and interesting, says Bajwa who is scheduled to fly Italy in late August.
Once he finishes the Peru event,Bajwa will then turn northwards to Kazakhstan to play the Asian Championships.