Jaipur: Glasgow Commonwealth Games gold medallist Apurvi Chandela dreams of raising the bar by achieving glory at the Olympics but the young markswoman says her goal can be fulfilled only if more sponsors and specialised coaches come forward to help her.
"My father (Kuldeep Singh Chandela, who is a hotelier) has taken care of most of my expenses and also built a shooting range spending a few lakhs for me in our house. The support from OGQ has also come at the right time in my career. But still I need a few more sponsors. I need modern rifles and latest electronic gadgets for my practice. To reach the top I need to train with specialist coaches," Apurvi said.
Apurvi beat compatriot and World No.8 Ayonika Paul in an exciting battle to clinch the gold medal in the women`s 10m air rifle finals of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at the Barry Buddon Shooting Range.
For the 21-year-old Apurvi, the gold was her maiden international medal. Despite a contract with OGQ under her belt and a cash award of Rs. 15 lakh from the Rajasthan Government, Apurvi feels that she needs more support to fulfil her dream of winning a gold at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
"When I am in camps organised by NRAI, I get coaches and other facilities but at home I have to train using CD`s for mental toughness and calling up for coaches like Rakesh Manpat but to excel at the highest level I need personal coaches of higher order to fine-tune the minor flaws which keep on creeping while practicing at range in my house. Merely following the schedule given by my coaches won`t be enough to reach at the top."
Jaipur`s Apurvi took up the sport relatively late. The 10m rifle has been her pet event and in 2012, her first year in the senior circuit, she won a team silver medal at the Asian Championship in Nanchang (China).
"I need modern rifles which come up with more refinement and also the electronics targets with decimals. I resort to massaging once a week to distribute the toxins which accumulate in the body due to high tension associated with this sport."
The diminutive shooter feels that her success in Glasgow has given her confidence a boost.
"The Commonwealth Games were really my first big multi games competition and a gold there has added to my confidence because it was a very strong field and almost all the top shooters were there."