With Gagan guiding her, Elizabeth gets ready for a smart return

The National record holder is training in Chennai for this month’s Nationals in Thiruvananthapuram

November 07, 2022 08:50 pm | Updated 10:15 pm IST - KOCHI:

Rifle shooter Elizabeth Susan Koshy with daughter Amrah.

Rifle shooter Elizabeth Susan Koshy with daughter Amrah. | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

She came very close to the Olympic quota for Rio 2016 but when Elizabeth Susan Koshy returns to the National shooting championships in Thiruvananthapuram later this month after nearly three years, she will not have Paris 2024 on her mind.

The 28-year-old rifle shooter from Kochi, who had taken a break from the sport for childbirth, is working to get back to the form that saw her complete a hattrick of National titles in the three-position event in 2015. And coaching her is Gagan Narang, the 2012 London Olympics bronze medalist, in Chennai’s Sri Ramachandra Centre for Sports Science.

“I came to Chennai last week, this is just the first camp that I’m attending in a long time. I’m not expecting sudden results, you can’t expect them in a 15-day camp, but in due course the results will come,” said Elizabeth, the National record holder in the 3-position event, in a chat with The Hindu.

“I’m not really focusing on the scores or results at the Nationals but I need to perform well for the coming year and for the trials next year also. So, I’ve started preparing for that.”

Elizabeth, an Assistant Command with the Kerala Police here, has shed nearly 20kgs in about a year’s time and now looks like the girl who was winning those National golds six or seven years ago. And the arrival of Amrah, Elizabeth’s one-and-half-year-old daughter who also goes to the shooting range in Chennai with her grandmother, the former international is now on a smart multi-tasking mode.

“You become really strong once you become a mother, there’s much more responsibility. You have to concentrate on your child 100 per cent all the time because you wouldn’t know what the little girl is going to do at any moment. I think I’ve developed that skill to do things simultaneously,” she said.

That, she feels, has made her mentally stronger.

With girls like Anjum Moudgil excelling at the World-level, Elizabeth is aware that things will not be easy at the Nationals.

“The standard and scores have gone a little high compared to the time I was shooting. But, if you see in a two years gap, it’s mostly the old shooters who have been consistently shooting well. In between, if some juniors have come up, they haven’t shown much consistency,” said Elizabeth, who will be competing in three events at the Nationals.

“So, personally, if I can train well and get the basics right, I can definitely come back and score well like old times.”

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