Tokyo 2020 not a dream anymore for Pune shooter Rahi Sarnobat
The city’s 28-year old shooter Rahi Sarnobat is the odds-on form favourite to in a medal for India at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
Since her gold medal at the 2018 Asian Games, the Kolhapur-native Sarnobat survived a dip in form to come back strongly this year. In May, Sarnobat won the gold at the Shooting World Cup in Munich, Germany, in the 25 metre pistol event.
Now, back in Pune and back at the practice range in Balewadi to ensure the Olympic dream is alive, Sarnobat is focussed on staying on target with high-level performances in upcoming preparation tournaments.
“I have at least seven world0level tournaments before the Tokyo Olympics and since I have qualified I will have a difference mindset going into the tournaments. The focus will be on high-level performances,” says Sarnobat.
“My training is going good, but how to convert it into a tournament-winning performance was our (me and coach) aim before the start of the Munich World Cup,” Sarnobat says.
Sarnobat was nervous in Munich as she had shot there on four ocassion earlier, never with any accomplishment. This time, her Olympic-medal winning coach, Munkhbayar Dorjsuren, may have been the difference.
“We created match situations and being in Munich 15 days prior to the event also helped, as I got used to atmosphere,” says Sarnobat.
At Munich Sarnobat shot gold. Now, what of the Olympics?
“I feel this is the right time to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics because if we qualify too early, it becomes difficult to maintain the rankings,” Sarnobat says, explaining, “The quota is for country and decides how many shooters will represent the country. Personally, getting that quota a year in advance helps, as you can focus on preparation.”
From 2015 to 2017 was a tough period for Sarnobat. She dealt with the loss of her coach Anatolli Piddubnyi and, an elbow injury added worries.
In 2017, Sarnobat joined up with German-Mongolian coach Munkhbayar Dorjsuren.
“We started with focussing on performance and I also had to change the techniques and types of exercise after coming back from injury,” added Sarnobat.
Crosshead: No time for shopping
Although Rahi Sarnobat’s next tournament is in August, she has no free time to either visit Kolhapur, or indulge, like go shopping.
“I visited Kolhapur after the Asian Games, it’s been 10 months since, I have no time. I came back from Munich on May 28 and started training on June 1. I get Thursdays off, but that is not enough to recover, so it becomes hard to spare time,” says Sarnobat, who is currently training at the 10-metre shooting range in Balewadi.
Rahi’s memorable performances:
2008: Won gold medal in Youth Commonwealth Games in Pune
2010: One gold and silver medal in Commonwealth Games in Delhi
2012: Represented India in London Olympics
2013: Won Gold medal in International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup. Became first Indian pistol shooter to win gold medal in shooting’s World Cup’s history
2014: Gold medal in Commonwealth Games, Glasgow
2014: Won bronze medal in 17th Asian Games, Incheon
2018: Won gold medal in 18th Asian Games, Jakarta Indonesia. (First Indian women shooter who won gold medal in Asian Games)
25 metre pistol
What is event?
The 25m Pistol Women is an ISSF event where athletes shoot over a distance of 25 metres or 27.34 yards, using a 5.6-millimetre or 0.22-inch caliber pistol with a maximum weight of 1.4 kg.
Bullseye of target is positioned at 1.4m above the floor and its total diameter measures 500mm; diameter of the fourth ring measures 350mm; diameter of the 10th ring measures 50mm.
60 shots - which are divided into two stages of 30 shots each – a precision stage and rapid-fire stage.
Shooter fires six, five-shot series within five minutes.
In rapid first stage, shooter gets three seconds to fire each shot, with a break of seven seconds between the series.
Scores of both stages – precision and rapid - added to obtain qualification score.
Maximum score per shot is 10 points; maximum score of final round is out of 600 points.Top eight shooters qualify for final round.
Rapid fire. Every shooter hits 10, five-shot series (a time of three seconds is given to fire each shot) Scoring system switches from points to hit-or-miss system. A score of 10.2 or higher, considered a hit and score of 10.1 or lower, a miss. Highest possible score in the final is 50 hits.