New Delhi: Around a year back, sitting in the lobby of a plush South Delhi hotel, Anjum Moudgil was a picture of serene calm. On that unusually chilly February afternoon, Moudgil gave a sneak peek into her mindset as the pattering rain formed a rhythmic backdrop to her stream of consciousness. Her soul, forever juggling demands of her punishing sport and vulnerabilities of the lurking, reticent artist within, was on display. It helped that the Olympic quota was already in the bag, and every tournament that she would shoot in would, slowly and surely, attune her to the approaching challenge. It seemed a perfect place and a perfect space to be in.
Thirteen months on, the challenge is no longer immediate – the pressing issues of bare survival having overtaken every conceivable indulgence and leaving a trail of perspective over everything that was hitherto deemed di riguer. Anjum Moudgil, though, is still calm.
She was at her Chandigarh residence when the news of Games' postponement arrived. Mad scramble, you'd expect? "No, I was fine. It is alright. I welcome the decision to postpone the Games. It was needed; the world needed it."
Lest we forget, Moudgil was the first Indian shooter to win an Olympic quota by virtue of her silver medal at the Changwon World Championships in September 2018. Since then, her steady scores have kept her in the fray for her Tokyo tryst.
"I am not disappointed. I know I made the cut and if I am asked to do it again, I know I can. I can now focus all my energies towards next year and I am confident to do well," the 26-year-old said.
Moudgil's last competitive event was the Olympics trial in the capital that ended on 18 March, and the shooter has been on a well-deserved break thereafter.
"For me, personally, the postponement is not a disruption in the schedule as I was anyway on a 10-day break. I am staying at home and will resume dry training at home from next month. I am spending some much-needed time with my family."
With the country under complete lockdown for three weeks, Moudgil has taken to her other passions – painting and reading.
"I have been painting a lot. It keeps me occupied and helps me stay positive. This downtime has given me enough opportunities to pursue my passions, and I am happy to indulge," she said.
"I also have a pending reading list and I will take up books once I am done painting. So yeah, the break is going good as far as I am concerned."
A self-confessed stickler for sports autobiographies, Moudgil is currently exploring the intricacies of human anatomy.
"I was always intrigued by how the human body functions, so I have started reading up on various muscle groups... their names, how they function etc. That is helping me understand my body better and will help me communicate with the physios in case I have to approach them with niggles. So I am trying to read up as much as I can on the internet.
"I am also working out at home. A lot of people have been posting home workout videos, so I just take cues and do my fitness routine," she said.
The postponement of the Olympics, albeit irrefutable given the global health crisis caused by the coronavirus outbreak, means Moudgil's future hangs in balance as there is no clarity yet on the qualification scenario for the now-postponed event.
According to a statement on the ISSF website, shooting's global governing body will announce their decisions after fresh dates for the Tokyo Olympics are finalised.
"We will immediately inform the shooting community of subsequent decisions as they are announced," reads the statement.
The deferment, however, has ended the brewing speculations over the immediate future of the Tokyo Games, and the World No 4 feels it has served some clarity in prevailing uncertainty.
"I think it was overdue, given the situation across the world. It has given some clarity because earlier there was a lot of speculation. Now we have about a year to plan, although we are yet to get a word from NRAI or ISSF about the future course of action," she concluded.
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Updated Date: Mar 27, 2020 09:38:16 IST