2018 Commonwealth Games: Veteran Anjali Bhagwat urges Indian shooters to dominate Gold Coast GamesMarch 1, 2018
NEW DELHI: Decorated shooter Anjali Bhagwat, who won four gold medals at the 2002 Commonwealth Games, has urged India’s shooting contingent at the upcoming Gold Coast CWG to make a splash given that the next Olympics is two years away.
Writing in today’s TOI, Bhagwat stressed on the importance of winning in air gun events. “Given the way shooters from other countries have improved, I would suggest our shooters aim for quality at the forthcoming Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast. Medals will always come if we maintain quality, and though we have in the past dominated in the CWG, the situation has changed,” she wrote. ”Shooters from countries such as Singapore, Australia and England have done very well because the standard has improved a lot. Our shooters have to perform very well, specially in air gun events, which have been our strong disciplines.”
Referencing the previous Commonwealth Championship in Belmont, where female shooters Pooja Ghatkar won air rifle gold and Anjum Moudgil took silver, Bhagwat spoke of the need to maintain such standards of Indian shooting.
“I have high hopes from our team, especially because the current shooters are getting best of training and coaching facilities. Now they also have physiotherapists too. The TOPS scheme has given them a lot of help, which was not there in the past. Also the sports NGOs such as OGQ and Lakshya have been helping a lot. The training programme for shooters is also more structured now and having Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore as sports minister is a bonus. He has gone through it all as a shooter and knows what it takes to win medals,” wrote Bhagwat, who in 2003 became the first Indian woman to receive a gold medal at the ISSF World Cup Final when she won the 10-metre air rifle event.
“I would like to appreciate the efforts of everyone for working towards keeping shooting in the 2022 Commonwealth Games. It is very sad that Birmingham CWG organisers have omitted shooting from the schedule, but I am hoping that our sport will be back in the CWG,” she added.
The 2018 Commonwealth Games get underway at Gold Coast City, in the southeast of the Australian state of Queensland, from April 4.