The younger version of the Indian shooter Elavenil Valarivan couldn't have possibly imagined that one fine day she'll win a gold medal in a shooting World Cup. Now, you must be wondering why is that, right? Well, that's because the young shooter's first choice in sports was not shooting.
During her schooling, Elavenil was more interested in becoming a track and field athlete. However, she became an influential name in the field after her mentor and Olympic athlete, Gagan Narang, selected her for Project Leap. Gagan initiated this program to train young Indian shooters under his guidance.
Hailing from Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu, the 20-year-old Elavenil Valarivan won her first gold medal in the Women’s 10m Air Rifle at the ISSF (International Shooting Sport Federation) World Cup in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil on Wednesday. The young shooter beat Great Britain's Seonaid Mcintosh and Taiwan's Lin Ying-Shin, who won a silver and bronze medal respectively.
Elavenil is the third Indian female to have achieved this place. However, she could not secure an Olympic quota for India, a quota that was already secured last year by India’s beloved shooters and world's number one and two, Apurvi Chandela and Anjum Moudgil.
Elavenil was able to beat world champs Apurvi and Anjum in the qualification round with a score of 629.4. While Anjum finished 8th in the finals, Apurvi came 11th during the qualification round.
Leaving behind other countries, India ended up winning three out of four gold medals in the event. Apart from Elavenil, Anjali Bhagwat and Apurvi were two shooters who won gold medals at the championship.
Trained by Olympic Bronze Medalist, Gagan Narang, Elavenil started her shooting journey at the age of 13. This Asian champion is also a junior World Cup gold medalist.