New Delhi: Her plan to make a camouflaged entry into her native state Gujarat was put to rest when a crowd flocked in hordes to greet Lajja Gauswami at the airport and the Commonwealth Games medallist, in hindsight, is only "happy" about the "positive" developments around shooting.
Lajja, an ISSF World Cup silver medallist, bagged a bronze in women`s 50m rifle 3 positions as India ended their spectacular shooting campaign on a high at the recently-held Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
She says it`s not just India but in Gujarat too, interest around shooting has gone up.
"Things are also improving in Gujarat... There would be no sponsors in the past, but now there are quite a few though we need more. My kit including the rifle and other weapons were sponsored by the Gujarat Government, they gave me the money and I got the weapons imported," Lajja told PTI.
"I can only be very happy that there were people to see me at the airport, since not many were
informed about (her arrival from Glasgow). This is a positive development," said the 26-year-old markswoman, who hails from Anand district.
Preparing for the upcoming World Championships, to be held in Granada, Spain, where 64 quota places for the 2016 Rio Olympics will be up for grabs, Lajja says she is not thinking about medals right now.
"Right now I am only focused on training and working out on my loopholes. Medals are not on my mind at the moment. I know I will succeed if I shoot well and for that I need to train hard. So I am only concentrating on training now," the shooter added.
For the record, Lajja had shot a silver at the same venue where the World Championships are to be held from September 6-19, but she was not willing to read too much into it when asked if that was at the back of her mind.
"Yes I won a silver there last year and I know the range but that`s about it. It`s going to be different this time as it always depends on the given day, conditions, wind etc.. Lots of factors play a role," she said.
"For example we do make a bit of adjustments when it is too sunny as sighting becomes a problem
or when its windy also."
An inspector with Gujarat police, Lajja has made a few changes to the setting of her weapon, and is happy with the way the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) is managing the sport.
"The NRAI is handling it well, shooting budge has gone up and that is a very good news. There is a lot of interest among youngsters and there are quite a few talented ones coming up every now and then."
Lajja, who became the first-ever Gujarati to win a CWG medal in the 2010 Delhi Games, expects more government encouragement and corporate houses to show interest in shooting, discipline which brought home a staggering 17 medals from the Barry Budding Ranges in Glasgow.
"After our performance I am hopeful of getting more sponsorships from corporate houses and
support from the concerned establishments.
"Shooting is an expensive sport and it helps if they shooters are offered support as far as training under an international coach, good facilities, ammunitions are concerned."
The shooters, currently training at the Karni Singh Shooting Ranges here, will be leaving for Hanover on August 24 for their last stretch of preparations for the World Championships.