At average age of 23, shooting team shed six years | More sports News

At average age of 23, shooting team shed six years | More sports News

Elavenil Valarivan (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

PUNE: First look at Indian players for the Changwon shooting World Cup gives an impression that a youth or junior team is set to participate. However, some old names in the list assure it is the senior squad albeit with many teenagers, who are set to make their international debut.
The Indian team sent for the event in Korea is six years younger than the one sent to the Tokyo Olympics last year. While, the average age of the Indian shooting team at Tokyo was 29, it’s only 23 for the World Cup.
There is no Saurabh Chaudhary (20) or Abhishek Verma (33) in the men’s 10m air pistol. Rather, 20-year-old Sagar Dangi and 16-year-old Shiva Narwal will make their debut in the category that has fetched India many medals at the international level. Naveen, 21, completes the men’s 10m air pistol lineup.
Likewise, Elavenil Valarivan, 23, who till last year was the youngest in the women’s 10m air rifle team, is now the oldest in the group of three shooters. Mehuli Ghosh, 22, and Ramita, 18, have replaced Anjum Moudgil, 28, and Apurvi Chandela, 27 in the top-3.
The squad would be even younger, if not for Sanjeev Rajput (42) and Mairaj Khan’s (47) presence.
Though having youngsters is a good sign for any country, it comes with its cons too.
“The young shooters are technically sound. They have come to the team after outscoring the Tokyo participants in the trials. They are full of energy and confidence,” national pistol coach Samaresh Jung told TOI from Changwon. “But at the same time, it can get challenging to handle the younger lot as quick success can blind them and make them not see the traps. Other than coaching, we also have to train them to stay grounded and keep their focus intact,” added the former Commonwealth Games champion.
Jung also added that the youngsters will get more success if the squad is consistent, and the dropout rate is not high.
The young ones
Shiva Narwal, 16, men air pistol
Sameer, 16, 25m rapid fire
Palak, 17, women 10m air pistol
Esha Singh, 17, women 10m air pistol
Ramita, 18, women 10m air rifle
Simranpreet Kaur Brar, 18, women 25m pistol
Rhythm, 19, women 10m air pistol

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