London Olympics: Annu Raj looks set to make her mark

first_imgLast year’s ISSF World Cup in Fort Benning, USA, was a happy hunting ground for India. Not only did the country’s pistol shooters win three medals, they also booked an unprecedented number of berths – three – for the London Olympics.One of these winners was Annu Raj Singh, who clinched a silver medal in the 10m air pistol women event. The Aligarh-born girl, who now resides in Faridabad just outside the Capital, shot a personal best 389/400 in the qualification rounds before scoring a steady 97.6 in the final.A repeat of that score at the Royal Artillery Barracks next Sunday would hold her in good stead for a medal. Four years ago, in Beijing, when there were no Indians in the fray, Russian Natalia Paderina had shot an Olympic Record 391 in the qualification round, but lost out to Chinese Guo Wenjun, who registered a Final Olympic Record of 492.3 for the gold medal.Apart from the air pistol, the 28-year-old Annu Raj will also be competing in the women’s 25m or ‘sports’ pistol event. This is her secondary event and, with a personal best of just 578/600, she is highly unlikely to challenge for a medal.Annu Raj will have a familiar face among her competitors in Heena Sidhu, with whom she combined to win the New Delhi Commonwealth Games Pairs gold medal in the event. The duo had also won the team silver medal at the Guangzhou Asian Games along with Sonia Rai.Her main focus, like all other first-timers, has been to try and work on the mental aspects of the game.advertisementHowever, the bane of a majority of Olympic-bound Indian shooters has been consistency, and Annu is no different. While she did win a bronze medal at the Asian Shooting Championships in Doha earlier this year, her score was down to 383.Still, she has the advantage of a strong technique and an experienced head on her shoulders, and come July 29, it certainly won’t be a surprise if the Tricolour is hoisted behind the podium.last_img

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