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Annu, Shweta ready to make it count in Rio de Janeiro

Target Tokyo: Annu Raj Singh and Shweta Singh who have returned to the National air pistol team for the Rio World Cup.

Target Tokyo: Annu Raj Singh and Shweta Singh who have returned to the National air pistol team for the Rio World Cup.   | Photo Credit: Kamesh Srinivasan

Second Olympic quota place to be won

Two of the best women pistol shooters in the country, Annu Raj Singh and Shweta Singh, will compete in the last World Cup of the season in Rio de Janeiro aspiring to win the second Olympic quota for Tokyo 2020, in air pistol.

The 32-year-old Shweta, who works with ONGC, has competed in five World Championships, and three Asian Games.

She did win the Asian Games individual bronze in Incheon, 2014.

Returning was tough

“I am happy to make the main team for the last World Cup of the season. Returning to the team was tough because of various reasons.

“It was hard to spare time for training (following marriage and the birth of a child). But, my husband supports me and takes care of our child.

“I worked full force, covering all training needs and made the World Championship team last year,” recalled Shweta.

Huge payments

“I used my savings for participating in open tournaments abroad for more exposure and paid hefty fees to mental and physical trainers. I trusted my abilities and worked hard.

“I was missing selection to the national team by 0.1 point or one point. I am happy that the hard work is paying off,” said Shweta.

Unlike Shweta, Annu Raj, who is with Air India, has been in the 25m sports pistol team, having represented the country in the London Olympics by virtue of silver in the World Cup in Fort Benning when she had shot an impressive qualification score of 389.

The last time Annu made the National team in air pistol in a World Cup was in 2015. The 35-year-old Annu will be competing in the 60-shot air pistol for the first time in a global competition.

“I don’t think making the team in itself is noteworthy. It is just the first step.

“I don’t think much about quota, etc. It would be nice to get it. It is more about being able to follow the process,” said Annu.

“The knowledge available for young shooters, along with funding for the junior programme, is helping them get there faster (among the elite).

“For them, transition is the key. Earlier, we would learn from our seniors. Now, the juniors motivate me to give my best,” said Annu.

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Printable version | Jul 2, 2020 4:56:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/annu-shweta-ready-to-make-it-count-in-rio-de-janeiro/article28815323.ece

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