Road to Rio: World-record holder Apurvi Chandela is India's big shooting medal hope at 2016 Olympics

Name: Apurvi Chandela

Age: 23

Discipline (sport): Shooting

Category: Women's 10m air rifle

Qualification: Apurvi qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics after clinching 10m air rifle bronze in the 2015 ISSF World Cup (Rifle/Pistol) in Changwon, Korea.

Strengths: Apurvi is one of the finest talents in Indian shooting fraternity. Within eight years Apurvi's rise has been meteoric and is one of India's big medal hopes at Rio Olympics 2016. Apurvi's biggest strength is in the fact that she is able to pick her game at the big stage. A National Championship medal, a World Cup medal, and a Commonwealth gold is a proof of that.

Past Olympic performance: Debut

Past record: Broke World Record in 10m Air Rifle finals event
- Bronze medal in ISSF World Cup, Changwon 2015
- Gold medal in Commonwealth Games, Glasgow 2014
- Gold medal in National Championships, Delhi 2012

Rio Prospects: Apurvi will be challenged by shooters from China, Iran, Ukraine, Serbia, and Croatia, but her red-hot form gives the Indian a chance of bagging a medal in Rio.

Road to Rio: World-record holder Apurvi Chandela is Indias big shooting medal hope at 2016 Olympics

File image of Apurvi Chandela. IBNLive

Apurvi Chandela was born in a Rajput family in Jaipur to a hotelier father. She then went onto complete her graduation in Delhi where acquired her bachelor's degree in Sociology. However, with a strong interest in sports, a career in sports journalism was her preferred option, until Abhinav Bindra won India's first individual gold medal and like it did to many, showed Apurvi her way forward.

“It’s totally random. I liked watching sports a lot. But since I hadn’t played any seriously, I thought the next best thing would be to become a sports journalist, but seeing Bindra win the gold, I thought why not give it a shot?” Apurvi told Indian Express in an interview.

With support from her father and inspiration from Bindra's gold in Beijing, Apurvi embarked on her shooting journey and within four years she was competing on the national circuit.

Fast forward to 2016, Apurvi has earned precious guidance from her idol Abhinav Bindra as she tries to emulate his achievement from eight years ago. Earlier in the year, Apurvi gave the biggest signal of intent after breaking the world record score of 211.2 in women's 10m air rifle event, to surpass the feat of Chinese Olympic gold medallist Yi Siling (211).

Apurvi's father is happy with her daughter's growth as a shooter and his only wish that remains is to see her win an Olympic medal. “We had the confidence as we have seen her practicing shooting since day one. We also hope that one day she will win gold for the country in the Olympics,” a jubilant Kulddep Singh told Rediff.com

“And watching her talent, now Abhinav Bindra also guides her. So now we all have got double reason to rejoice at her success,” he added.

Apurvi has strengthened that area which was considered a weakness in the Indian shooting contingent over the years. But in Apurvi and Ayonika Paul, the Women's 10m air rifle category has become one of India's biggest strong points heading into Rio Olympics 2016.

With inputs from agencies

Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Firstpost.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.

Updated Date: Jul 30, 2016 16:26:45 IST

Also See