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  • National shooting championships: Coimbatore shooters bang on target

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    November 13th, 2017adminRecords, All, Sports, World Opinion

    The Coimbatore city shooters, of late, are making their presence felt on the national and international circuit. The 60th National shooting championships held in Pune last December is a case in point. If 21-year-old N Gaayathri won gold in the women’s 3-position rifle event after beating a field comprising seasoned shooters such as Anjali Bhagwat and Tejaswini Sawant, her city mate and pistol shooter P Shri Nivetha pocketed an individual bronze and team silver in the competition.

    Both Gaayathri and Nivetha have made the senior national side on the back of consistent performances on the junior circuit. “Being part of international competitions as members of the Indian junior team provided us a strong footing before making the senior side,” Nivetha told TOI. She won a junior gold in the 10M Air Pistol category of the Asian Airgun championships held in New Delhi in 2015. Gaayathri, on the other hand, made a mark at the junior World Cup in Suhl (Germany) last year – winning a bronze in the 50M rifle prone event.

    The two made the final in their respective events at the recently-concluded Commonwealth Shooting championships in Gold Coast, Australia. While Gaayathri narrowly missed a medal by 0.7 points – finishing fourth – in the women’s rifle 3-Position event, Nivetha ended fifth in the 10m Air Pistol event. “The competition was of the highest order. In such events, it all boils down to how you handle the pressure during crunch situations,” said Nivetha.

    Gaayathri and Nivetha aren’t the only set of shooters to be making waves from the city. “Shooters such as Srinithi Abirami, Namritha Saravana and many others are doing well from Coimbatore. What is heartening to see is that each one of them has managed to find the balance between their studies and shooting. Srinithi is a qualified engineer while Gaayathri and Nivetha have both done their graduation,” said Marudhachalam, vice-president of Coimbatore Rifle Club.

    Marudhachalam also felt that these shooters’ families have supported them to the hilt. “The parents of these shooters understand the rigors of the sport and do everything they possibly can to support them,” Marudhachalam said.

    According to Srinithi, the Coimbatore Rifle club – in existence since 1953 – provides the right environment for shooters. “They conduct regular camps that attract a lot of shooting enthusiasts. I was part of one of the camps back in 2009 and it didn’t take long for me to get hooked to the sport,” said Srinithi, who won silver in the Asian championships at Kuwait in 2015.

    The club, in the midst of getting upgraded to international standards, has already installed electronic targets – a move that has got thumbs up from the shooters. “The club is doing its best to encourage the sport. The installation of electronic targets was certainly helpful for the shooters,” said Nivetha. The renovated club is likely to reopen in the next few weeks.

    From November 15, the likes of Gaayathri, Nivetha and Srinithi will join others in the trials in New Delhi for the upcoming Commonwealth Games next year. Gaayathri has already begun to fine-tune for the same, and the fact that she has chosen to stay away from media commitments for the time being underlines her single-minded focus.

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News> Sports / by Prasad RS / TNN / November 10th, 2017

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