Up until now, shooting has been a sport which has been kept to live streams and to the lanes. But that would all change with the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi starting February 22. After the recent success of Indian shooters, the sport has received the exposure it deserved going into Olympics next year. Earlier this month, National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) President Raninder Singh had announced a landmark deal with Sony Pictures Network to broadcast all the ISSF World Cup tournaments, starting with the Delhi World Cup.
“It’s great that the ISSF World Cup is being telecast on TV. My parents always used to ask me on which channel will they be able to see me perform and I had to tell them that our World Cups do not get a TV telecast. But now, they will be really happy to see me,” shooter Anjum Moudgil told indianexpress.com.
At the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range in New Delhi, the 25-year-old said that the young shooters and the newcomers will feel motivated with the TV broadcast. “The young players, the newcomers, their parents will be so happy to see them, and I think it’s a really good motivation for everyone. It’s a very positive change,” the Commonwealth Games 2018 silver medal winning shooter said.
But Moudgil, who will compete in 10m Air Rifle competition, further added that the attention from media also adds to the pressure among the shooters. “After a successful campaign at the CWG and the Asian Games, the Indian shooters do have a lot of pressure with all the media attention that the sport is starting to gather. Even the media personnel can feel the pressure,” she said.
But the shooter expressed confidence that the Indian contingent will continue to shine. “The training has gone well for everyone. So India is really prepared. You can really expect a good number of quotas at the World Cup and hopefully podium finishes next year at the (Tokyo) Olympics,” she said.
Moudgil is one of the two competitors, other being Apurvi Chandela, who has already earned an Olympic quota. Entering the tournament, the Punjab shooter said that she feels more relaxed. “For me, it’s much more relaxing than what everyone else might be going through because everyone here, even the media, is just keeping an eye on the Olympic quotas,” she said.
“But we have our own things to prove, we need to perform our best for ourselves, and to get a podium finish. So that way, we are really motivated to do well,” she added.
But despite the Olympic quota, Moudgil is not yet guaranteed a place in India’ Olympic squad, as the final call on squad selection rests with the NRAI. Talking about her goals for the tournament, Moudgil said: “Every performance matters and the more I perform, the more confident I will become before the Tokyo Olympics. It has to be 100 percent, always. It’s not as if I get a quota, I am allowed to not perform to the best of my abilities.”