By Debayan Mukherjee
Kolkata, April 20 (IANS) It is all about the journey for an elite athlete and not just one competition, feels ace rifle shooter Anjum Moudgil who is trying to find a silver lining amid the COVID-19 doom and gloom which has brought the world to a standstill.
World Championships silver medallist Moudgil would have been fine tuning her skills with the Tokyo Olympics knocking on the door at this time of the year had the coronavirus pandemic not reared its ugly head.
“I don’t feel we have nothing to look forward to because the process of getting better is continuous. It’s not under a timeline so we can always work on different skills and different sets of training under different circumstances,” Moudgil told IANS on Monday.
“An athlete should be positive and keep this thing in mind that it’s all about the journey and not only one specific competition,” said the 26-year old who has a Masters degree in sports psychology.
“I feel I am under control of my emotions. Having to understand my body and how to push it to the limit and the eagerness to learn more I think it’s just adding more to my experience and my learning for life.
“I’ll be much more grateful for all the things we take for granted in our life,” said Moudgil, reflecting on what this deadly virus and its impact has taught her.
Moudgil, who is good at both 10m Air Rifle and 50m Rifle 3-position categories, was the first Indian athlete to make the cut for the Olympics by winning a silver medal in 10m air rifle at the 2018 World Championships in Changwon.
Although she could not take part, Moudgil hailed the first-of-its-kind international online shooting competition which took place last week, saying it is a good initiative to keep the match momentum going through this dry period.
“I did not take part in the online competition as I don’t have the electronic target. I think it’s a really good initiative to keep the match momentum going through this dry period and it’s good that people from all over the world are participating.”
Most shooters have resorted to dry firing in their homes to ensure they stay focused during the lockdown period where they are unable to go to a range.
“Yes it is only dry training now and we don’t know when we get to shoot at a range. I am doing my physical training with the trainer and also focusing on all the muscles to keep them fit, and dry shooting to have the muscle memory,” said Moudgil.
Asked how the sudden lull has impacted her, Moudgil said: “Yeah it was unexpected but since everyone is in this together we should just focus on maintaining of fitness and technical standards or maybe improving them in different ways.”
An avid painter, Moudgil said she is also trying her hand at cooking and picking up dance moves among other things.
“I am making the most of the time at home and spending time with family playing games, painting and also learning cooking and dancing a lot of fun to learn new things,” she smiled.