Mehuli Ghosh targets Tokyo 2020 Olympics quota in World Shooting Championships

Mehuli Ghosh, who won bronze in the 10m air rifle with a score of 228.4 in her first ISSF World Cup Series event, wants to earn an Olympic berth at the World Shooting Championships.

other sports Updated: Mar 04, 2018 17:01 IST
Dhiman Sarkar
Dhiman Sarkar
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
Mehuli Ghosh,World Shooting Championships,Shooting
Mehuli Ghosh (R) with former Olympian shooter and coach Joydeep Karmarkar at a press conference in Kolkata on friday.(HT Photo)

Bare-chested and smiling, the 1970 World Cup photograph of Pele and Bobby Moore is perhaps the most abiding memory of Guadalajara for sports fans. After Saturday night, that may have changed in one corner of Bengal.

From now, Baidyabati, a town in the Hooghly district some 35 km from Kolkata, will perhaps associate the western Mexican city known for tequilas and a cathedral with the frame of one of their own with the Tricolour. Mehuli Ghosh, all of 17, is seen in that picture looking exultant and letting out what seems like a whoop.

Having won bronze in the 10m air rifle with a score of 228.4 in her first ISSF World Cup Series event, one of the four held annually, Ghosh seems understandably delighted. En route, her coach Joydeep Karmakar said, Ghosh set a junior world record of 629.1 in the 60-shot qualifiers.

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“That she could reach her personal best at a World Cup event which was also her first senior event is a good sign. It shows she is not getting overawed,” said Karmakar, here on Sunday.

Karmakar, who finished fourth in the 50m prone rifle event in the 2012 London Olympics, said if Ghosh can keep her form, a finals place in the Commonwealth Games next month is expected.

“Unless there is a disaster, she should make the finals. What happens thereafter will depend on how well she copes with those 24 shots. Often, those who do well in qualifiers fade out early in the finals. In Mexico, Mehuli was second in the qualifiers so the way she finished is another positive,” said Karmakar.

Karmakar said Ghosh’s scores so far have given him hope that she can even get India an Olympic quota place in the World Championships scheduled in Changwon, South Korea, from August 31-September 15 this year. Given the importance of that event, Karmakar said he would like to travel with Ghosh to Korea. “For that and the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires this October,” he said.

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Going into the event in Mexico, Karmakar said Ghosh had difficulty in adjusting at the national camp for senior shooters for the first time. “Knowing that making the switch from being a junior to a senior is a big deal, I had told her to just be herself at the camp (in New Delhi last month),” he said.

“Then she went to Mexico and had two good practice rounds. We would link up on WhatsApp and I found that she was confident heading into the competition. My only advice to her was: till the last shot,” he said. Not only does that mean never give up, it also is a message that after the competition is over, there will be a next time. It will stay that way till the last shot of her career, said Karmakar.

First Published: Mar 04, 2018 17:01 IST