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Teen sensation Divyansh wins India Olympic quota in shooting

Divyansh Singh, son of a senior nursing staff at the Sawai Man Singh Medical College, became the fourth Indian to secure an Olympic quota after rifle shooters Anjum Moudgil and Apurvi Chandela, and pistol sensation Saurabh Chaudhary, another 17-year-old..

other sports Updated: Apr 28, 2019 07:00 IST
Ajai Masand
Ajai Masand
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Divyansh Singh,Shooting,Olympic Quota
Divyansh Singh became the fourth Indian to secure an Olympic quota. (HT Photo)

For someone so “lazy” that he had to be pushed—even “scolded”—to do some physical activity, Divyansh Singh Panwar on Friday emerged as a potential Olympic Games medal hopeful. The 17-year-old clinched a 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games quota place in 10m Air Rifle on way to silver in the ISSF World Cup at Beijing on Friday.

The Jaipur boy, son of a senior nursing staff at the Sawai Man Singh Medical College, became the fourth Indian to secure an Olympic quota after rifle shooters Anjum Moudgil and Apurvi Chandela, and pistol sensation Saurabh Chaudhary, another 17-year-old.

Competing in only his third international competition, Divyansh won silver after a tense final with China’s Hui Zicheng who clinched gold with a score of 249.4. Divyansh was just 0.4 behind. He added to the gold medal he won in the mixed team event along with Chandigarh shooter Anjum Moudgil on Thursday.

This is a double delight for India as Divyansh can not only compete individually in air rifle at the Olympics, but also pair with either Moudgil or Chandela for a shot at the mixed team medal.

Divyansh, a class 12 student with the ambition of becoming a doctor, first qualified for the finals in third place with a superb 60-shot score of 629.2.

“Though my ward has won the medal, I feel I have the conquered Mt Everest,” Divyansh’s coach of six years, Kuldeep Sharma, said from Jaipur. “The boy came to me when he was 11 with a rudimentary “break barrel air rifle”, the one to be kept as an antique. He was physically unfit. His elder sister Anjali, though, was far fitter and I concentrated on her. In fact, his father imported a proper competitive rifle—an Anschutz—for Anjali.”

Anjali though moved away from the sport, and Divyansh began to use not just her rifle, but also her shooting jacket and trousers.

In one of his first competitions, in 2013, he made two holes in a target card with a screwdriver as a joke and was promptly disqualified.

“I remember the first time his father brought him to me, he said make Divyansh run as much as you can, and if need be, punish him,” Kuldeep says. “He had poor concentration. He would eat anything in front of him. But he was also exceptionally talented and he had lots of motivation.”

Divyansh was put through a fitness regimen as well as meditation practice. “Knowng that he was a foodie, I set him targets accordingly,” Kuldeep says. “I told him if you achieve this target, you will get ~10 for golgappas. I have coached several players but his progress has been phenomenal.”

From there, Divyansh made rapid progress, and was picked to the national squad in 2017.

This year, he made it to the senior team.

“Now that he is winning medals in shooting, I don’t know whether he still wants to be a doctor.”

First Published: Apr 26, 2019 23:42 IST