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How Maria Sharapova made CWG 2018 medal-winning shooter Anjum Moudgil unstoppable

Anjum Moudgil, who won silver at the 2018 Commonwealth Games (CWG 2018) in Gold Coast, also says her love for painting help her focus better to hit the bull’s eye

other sports Updated: Apr 25, 2018 13:00 IST
Saurabh Duggal
Anjum Moudgil, who works for Punjab Police, is focused to prepare and push for gold in the Asian Games and World Championships next.
Anjum Moudgil, who works for Punjab Police, is focused to prepare and push for gold in the Asian Games and World Championships next.(Biswajit Debnath/HT)

She banks on her pencils and paint brushes to relax and keep herself focused on shooting. But paint wasn’t enough to keep her centred at the 2018 Commonwealth Games (CWG 2018) in Gold Coast on April 12. The medal favourite Anjum Moudgil finished poorly at 16 out of 20 in her pet 50m rifle prone event after her rifle developed a fault. The evening was mentally taxing, and the thought of next day’s 50m 3 position rifle event made it unending.

Painting, her usual stress-buster, was not enough to keep her calm and motivate her to start the next day afresh. It was then that Maria Sharapova, winner of Grand Slams, came to her rescue. Before leaving for Gold Coast, Anjum had packed the tennis sensation’s autobiography ‘Unstoppable’.

Silver medallist Anjum Moudgil (left) with Tejaswini Sawant, who won gold in the women's 50m Rifle 3P event at the Belmont Shooting Centre during the 2018 Commonwealth Games (CWG 2018) in Gold Coast on April 13. (AP)

“During the competitions and even in the training camps, painting was a regular affair for me. But on that day I was very upset as the medal had slipped out of my hands due to sheer hard luck. After the event, I didn’t feel like doing anything, even painting,” recalled Anjum. “I didn’t interact much with my fellow shooters…I wanted to be with myself, so I started reading ‘Unstoppable’. That did the trick and I woke up ready to give my best,” recounted Anjum, while painting her rifle.

Next target: Asian Games, Worlds

A silver at the Commonwealth Games in the 50m 3position rifle has been Anjum’s biggest break in the multi-discipline games, but she has set her target high. So, without wasting any time on celebrations, she was back at the range the day she landed in India. She attended a short three-day coaching camp in Delhi for the next two world cups in Korea (April 20 to 30) and USA (May 1 to 7).

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“Since the time I won the national title in December last year, I have been preparing for the Commonwealth Games and I am happy that I made a podium finish there. But in the larger scheme of things, the games are a step towards achieving my ultimate goal – the Asian Games (August 18 to September 2) and World Championship (September 1 to 15),” says Anjum, a sub-inspector with the Punjab Police.

“I am also eyeing the Olympic quota in the world championship,” she beams.

Working on fitness

Determined to cover herself with Olympic glory, Anjum doesn’t want to leave any part of her training untouched. “After returning from the world cup, I will focus on my fitness and endurance. I have to be the best when it comes to mental and physical fitness,” says the girl who took to painting a couple of year ago so that she could concentrate more on the sport.

“Shooting is a passion for me and to avoid any distraction, I started painting. Now, I am either shooting or spending time with my canvas,” she smiles.