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Older and wiser, Apurvi Chandela hopes to erase Rio hurt | Tokyo Olympics News – Times of India

July 19, 2021
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Rifle shooter overcame major setback, Covid-19 on way to Tokyo Olympics
PUNE: Among other things, shooting teaches introspection. Just ask Apurvi Chandela. The air rifle shooter is gearing up for her second Olympics, and other than working hard at the range, Apurvi has done her utmost not to think about Rio 2016.
While she was in a good nick ahead of the 2016 Olympics, Apurvi finished 34th in the women’s 10m air rifle event. A lot has changed since Rio, and Apurvi, 28, is wiser than she was five years ago.
“After every bad match, it feels like the end of the world, and it was the same after the Rio Olympics,” she told TOI.
It wasn’t Apurvi’s technique that failed her. A bad cryotherapy session gave her burns on the feet days ahead of the Olympics. The pain didn’t let her stand for long hours.
“It is disheartening when you put in so much effort and things don’t go according to plan.
“But a couple of incidents that happened before Rio weren’t right for me. It is only because of my family that I could get out of it. They never put any pressure on me and helped me become World No. 1 after that,” Apurvi said.
The shooter insists she is now over the Rio heartburn. “I have moved on as it was just a match. I take positives from the good matches that I have had. The mind obviously goes towards the bad memories first, but it is my job to divert myself to the positives.
“There is a lot of learning that I have got from Rio, there are many things which I am not repeating in my journey to Tokyo. Of course, there will be new experiences in this journey, but my focus is on my technique and basics.”
The Jaipur girl was one of the first shooters to clinch the quota for Tokyo, but just days before departure for Croatia for the training camp, Apurvi and her personal coach, former shooter Rakesh Manpat, contracted Covid.
“The team was leaving on May 11 by a chartered flight. We got the virus and got our negative report only on May 9. It was touch and go for us,” Manpat said.
Things didn’t go easy even after reaching Zagreb. Apurvi was busy battling side effects of the virus but somehow kept her spirits high.
“We spent the seven-day quarantine time recovering. But even after that, there was disorientation and fatigue. There was a time when she went to the range seven times, because she would forget something or the other while packing her rifle kit. Fatigue was a big factor but as days passed, she overcame everything,” Manpat said.
Apurvi shot at the Osijek World Cup. Her score of 624.2 put her in 11th place, but Rakesh said they weren’t looking at the scores.
“The ease of shooting and the execution she showed during the World Cup was phenomenal. She had a satisfactory training in Zagreb and was shooting scores around 630 during the practice sessions. But the most important thing was her positivity.
“She is in a happy state ahead of the Olympics, and that is very important,” the coach added.





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