With 4 days to go for Tokyo Olympics, AIR will take a look at Apurvi Chandela, one of the survivors of Rio 2016, and whether she can use her previous experience to get a medal at Tokyo.
Born on January 4, 1993 in Jaipur, Rajasthan, Apurvi will be one of only four Indian shooters who have prior Olympic experience going into Tokyo 2020.
She is of the generation of Indian shooters who decided to join the sport after witnessing Abhinav Bindra’s gold-winning run in Beijing 2008.
After the retirements of Anjali Bhagwat and Suma Shirur, the women’s 10m Air Rifle scene in India witnessed a lull. This was evident at the 2012 London Olympics where no female rifle shooter from India qualified. All this was to change at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
India had a 1-2 finish in Women’s 10m AR at Glasgow and the Gold was won by then 21-year-old Apurvi Chandela.
Apurvi would go on to win a bronze at the Changwon World Cup in 2015, but her best moment during that Olympic cycle was a silver in the 2015 World Cup finals.Her performance, however, in Rio was disastrous, much like the rest of the Indian shooting contingent.
In 2018, ISSF changed the format of Women’s AR to make it comparable to the Men’s event.
Women would now fire 60 shots instead of 40 in qualifications and 24 instead of 20 in finals.
This worked to the advantage of Apurvi and other Indian shooters. The year 2019 was the best year of 7-year-old Apurvi’s career. She posted a new women’s final world record of 252.9 en route to winning gold at Delhi 2019 and followed it up with another gold at Munich.
The latter World Cup saw her score an amazing 633 in qualifications. She got a gold-silver at 2 ISSF World Cups in Mixed Team with Deepak Kumar and a silver in the 2019 ISSF World Cup Finals paired with a Chinese shooter.