National shooting championships: Coimbatore shooters bang on targetNovember 10, 2017
The Coimbatore city shooters, of late, are making their presence felt on the national and international circuit. The 60th National shooting championships held in Pune last December is a case in point. If 21-year-old N Gaayathri won gold in the women’s 3-position rifle event after beating a field comprising seasoned shooters such as Anjali Bhagwat and Tejaswini Sawant, her city mate and pistol shooter P Shri Nivetha pocketed an individual bronze and team silver in the competition.
Both Gaayathri and Nivetha have made the senior national side on the back of consistent performances on the junior circuit. “Being part of international competitions as members of the Indian junior team provided us a strong footing before making the senior side,” Nivetha told TOI. She won a junior gold in the 10M Air Pistol category of the Asian Airgun championships held in New Delhi in 2015. Gaayathri, on the other hand, made a mark at the junior World Cup in Suhl (Germany) last year – winning a bronze in the 50M rifle prone event.
The two made the final in their respective events at the recently-concluded Commonwealth Shooting championships in Gold Coast, Australia. While Gaayathri narrowly missed a medal by 0.7 points – finishing fourth – in the women’s rifle 3-Position event, Nivetha ended fifth in the 10m Air Pistol event. “The competition was of the highest order. In such events, it all boils down to how you handle the pressure during crunch situations,” said Nivetha.
Gaayathri and Nivetha aren’t the only set of shooters to be making waves from the city. “Shooters such as Srinithi Abirami, Namritha Saravana and many others are doing well from Coimbatore. What is heartening to see is that each one of them has managed to find the balance between their studies and shooting. Srinithi is a qualified engineer while Gaayathri and Nivetha have both done their graduation,” said Marudhachalam, vice-president of Coimbatore Rifle Club.