Abhishek Verma's golden Tokyo mission: Not without my diary 

While it’s not unusual for shooters to maintain a diary, two-time shooting World Cup winner Abhishek Verma says it gives him extra motivation.

By Utathya Nag

A trusty pistol isn't the only weapon in Indian shooter Abhishek Verma's arsenal that helps him win medals in the international arena.

There's one more which aids his pursuit for excellence at the shooting range - his diary, a must-have in his kit bag at all times.

A two-time ISSF World Cup gold winner and an Asian Games bronze medallist in 10m Air Pistol, Abhishek Verma is one of the most accomplished shooters in India among the current generation.

“I do maintain a diary meticulously. There, I write how much I practised on a particular day, how many shots I took, how many I missed and why. Also, which shots were good and why,” Abhishek Verma told the Olympic Channel.

“Whenever I go to participate in competitions, I jot down each and everything, right from when I went to shoot, what thoughts went through my mind, what food I had. Every detail you can think of is mentioned in that diary,” Verma added.

Indian shooter Abhishek Verma has sealed a quote place for the Tokyo Olympics. Photo: Twitter/Abhishek Verma

More detailed than others

Having his diary at hand, Verma remembers, helped him clinch his first international medal – a bronze at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta.

“After my first 50 shots in the qualifiers, I was placed ninth and wasn’t in line to make the cut for the finals with only the top eight progressing through. I needed to score almost 100 points from my last 10 shots.

“At that time, I took a break for about 2-3 minutes. I took my diary out from my kit bag and flipped through. 

“It really helped me get through the round and eventually win the medal,” he recounted.

Abhishek Verma also noted that even when he failed to perform, he put down his thoughts, emotions and technical details in his diary, which later helped him reflect and grow as a shooter.

Keeping a diary is nothing new for shooters. Most shooting coaches, in fact, recommend it.

 “A lot of the shooters follow the habit, but I think mine is just a little more detailed than the others,” Verma quipped.

Having already won a quota place for next year’s Tokyo Olympics, Abhishek Verma is amongst the core group of Indian shooters in line to make an appearance at Tokyo.

Considered a medal hope in Tokyo next year, Abhishek Verma will give it his all in his maiden Summer Games and, of course, his diary will be there to help.

“In the upcoming Olympics, I want to give my best and to win a gold medal for my country,” Verma says.