Q. Tokyo Olympics has now been postponed to 2021. How do you look at that?
A. Yes, it will be 3 long years since qualifying for the Olympics. But, I am happy that I was the first one to qualify. I am preparing well and feeling no signs of anxiety. My physical, mental and technical training is running as per my wish. I am taking the postponement as the blessing in disguise.
Q. This will be your maiden appearance in the Olympics. How are you preparing for that?
A. The pressure is there. I am still waiting for the official final list of the selected team. This lockdown has given me some extra time to relax.
Q. You belong to the family which has a sporting background. Tell us more about it?
A. My mother did a bit of shooting in her college years through NCC. She took me to the shooting range. That is how I got introduced to the game. Later, I joined NCC in class 8. Shooting camps, competitions, and the medals followed.
Q. What gave you the impetus to build up your career in shooting?
A. I liked shooting because it’s an individual sport. I wanted to shoulder all the responsibilities myself. It augmented the confidence in my life and I am quite happy in pursuing my journey.
Q. Did you take part in other sports in childhood?
A. Yes. When I was in my seventh grade, I played nationals in throw ball in class. But later, I began taking shooting seriously.
Q. You compete in 10m and 50m air rifle. Which one do you prefer more?
A. I love both of them equally. It depends on how much I have to focus on relative competitions.
Q. What was the tensest moment in your sports career?
A. I felt it when I was competing in my first senior World Cup in 2015 in the US.
Q. Along with sports, what do you indulge yourself in?
A. I have liked art and craft since my schooling days. I am more inclined to painting. I started with painting T-shirts. Now, I always carry a paintbrush with me. Whenever I get time, I pursue it.
Q. Tell us about your recordbreaking qualification for the Commonwealth Games (CWG), and how was it different from the way it ended for you?
A. I am happy that I managed to break the record. However, I did not win the gold in the competition. To be honest, the colour of the medal matters little. However, I am satisfied with my CWG position.
Q. You are World No. 2 in 10m air rifle and No. 1 in India in 50m. How does it feel to achieve the feat?
A. I don’t feel it is so exemplary. Some shooters are in their teens and doing exceptionally well. Nevertheless, with each passing day, I am trying to be a better shooter and a better person overall.
Q: What do you do to remain focused and mentally tough amidst the pandemic?
A. Painting helps me with relaxation and concentration. Deep breathing, meditation, and proper routine help tremendously.
Q. Do you feel the shooting scene of India is improving?
A. Changes are happening for good. More youngsters are picking guns for medals. The federation, the government aid, coaches, sponsors, and media are vitally helpful.
Q. How are you spending your lockdown days?
A. I am happy to be at home. I am learning dance, spending time with my family, making bigger artworks, attending online courses on sports nutrition, sports psychology, etc.
Q. What message would you like to give to youngsters to keep themselves charged up against negativity, especially in this scenario?
A. I don’t understand why people are taking it negatively. This phase has given us ample time for introspection. One has to look at what he is good at. We have got to be always positive.