Neha Chavan: Elavenil Valarivan sets her goals before every tournament

The coach is confident that Elavenil Valarivan will do her utmost to win a medal at Tokyo 2020

By Soham Mukherjee

India have sent a 15-member strong contingent to Tokyo 2020 with several shooters standing a good chance of winning a medal

One such bright prospect is Elavenil Valarivan who will participate in the 10m Air Rifle event and partner Divyansh Singh Panwar for the 10m Air Pistol Mixed team event at Tokyo 2020.

The 21-year-old shooter has been hailed as one of the biggest hopes for a medal in the Indian team. It must be mentioned that she is the only shooter in the contingent who booked a berth for Tokyo 2020 without winning a quota.

The World No.1 in 10m Air Rifle has not had the best results in Croatia in the build-up to the Olympic Games. She finished 55th with 621.2 points at the ISSF World Cup in Osijek last month.

Coach Neha Chavan of Gun for Glory, who was overseen Valarivan’s progress over the years, stated that the young shooter is always in a positive frame of mind. She usually sets goals before every competition and on most occasions, is successful as she also works on how to fulfil the same.

“We sit and analyse her performance after every competition. She always remains positive. She is very process-oriented, and she sets her goals before every tournament. When she goes there, she will do whatever it takes to fulfill that,” Chavan told Olympics.com.

She pointed that as and when required, experienced Indian shooter Gagan Narang, who won bronze at London 2012 in shooting, also gives his insights which helps Valarivan’s game.

“If there are any setbacks at all, then we sit together as a team. Gagan (Narang) Sir chips in and shares his ideas and his experience. It is a team effort. Then we have our own psychologists who hold sessions with her. Setbacks are part of the game, and she knows how to deal with them,” explained Chavan.

She also shared her thoughts on how young Elavenil was spotted in 2014 and since then, the Cuddalore-born shooter has progressed by leaps and bounds.

“In 2014, the Gujarat government introduced the district-level school competition programme. Players would be given food and they trained in the school. The Sanskar Dham school was far off from the city and her talent was scouted and thereafter, she started shooting with Gun for Glory.

“After her 12th class, she travelled more to participate in shooting camps, and she would give her all. In 2017, she got called up in the national camp and again she had to travel a lot. She came to Pune to train under various programmes, and this has been her journey,” said Chavan.