Elavenil Valarivan will be one of the more interesting sights than usual when she lines up for the Shooting competition at the National Games. Not only because she is a home favorite, but also because she wants to give the local fans an indication of the consistency that has made her one of the best shooters.

“My debut at the National Games will be in my place and there is a lot of excitement. I think shooting in front of the home crowd will have a different feel. I have to play an important role in motivating the local shooters at the National Games,” said the Olympian. “I would like to be in a good mood for the next World Championship with a good show here.”

A product of Gagan Narang’s Gun for Glory Academy in Sakshardham, Elavenil feels the recent renovation of the shooting range here would help shooters. “I think more and more young people will adopt this sport. The range looks beautiful. I would have the opportunity to photograph here frequently and hopefully there will be more big competitions here,” she said.

Ela, as 2012 Olympic medalist Gagan Narang calls her, is grateful to her mentor. “She is a role model. I have been inspired by her achievements. What I like about him is the calm demeanor of him. That’s important for any shooter,” the 23-year-old said. “He would just say he’s great. Mental toughness is important, particularly in difficult situations. Over the years, I have learned from my mistakes. Self-confidence is another key factor.«

Elavenil showed promise when she joined Gun for Glory in 2014. She heralded her arrival on the world stage when she won silver at the 2018 World Junior Championships. Her big break came when she won gold at the ISSF World Cup in Rio. de Janeiro, becoming the fifth Indian woman to win a World Cup gold in 33 years.

Although she was disappointed with the Tokyo Olympics, Elavenil feels that the next few years will be crucial. “My immediate priority is the next World Championships in Cairo, Egypt starting on October 12, 2022. I have been training hard. I am looking for consistency and that is important for the race to the Asian Games and the Olympic Games in Paris,” she said.

Elavenil said that the competition in India is very good. “We have some of the best shooters. And events like the national championships and the National Games are good competition. These help us grow and help us find good shape before international events,” she said.

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