Kolkata: Rising star Elavenil Valarivan put up a golden display, clinching gold in the 10-metre air rifle at the Rio de Janeiro Senior Shooting World Cup, on Thursday.
The gold medal was a “double delight” for the 20-year-old Elavenil and her mentor Gagan Narang, as the Gagan Narang Sports Promotion Foundation was conferred with the Rashtriya Khel Purotsahan Puraskar by the President of India in the capital, on the same day.
The feat marked Elavenil’s smooth transition to the senior level after having won golds at the Junior World Cups in 2018 and 2019. Elavenil showed remarkable maturity and outstanding shooting acumen at her maiden Senior World Cup, opening up a strong lead in the eight-field final in Rio.
The Cuddalore girl showed nerve of steel keeping her composure throughout to seal the coveted medal.
In the finals, Elavenil shot a solid 251.7 points to finish ahead of Seonaid Mcintosh of Great Britain (250.6 points), who took the silver.
Elavenil shot 629.4 in the qualification round to be placed fourth. Her series of 105.8, 106.0, 105.4, 103.4, 103.9 and 104.9 propelled her into the final, where she started aggressively ahead of senior pro Anjum Moudgil.
The final though was a different ball game with Elavenil breaking away from the field soon and maintaining her consistent scores.
“I am really thrilled with this achievement and want to thank my mentor Gagan sir, my coach Neha ma’am & my mental trainer Kirtika ma’am who have trained me so well and without their correct guidance, this would not have been possible," said Elavenil after her feat.
“I am happy and this win will give me great confidence going ahead into other national and international competitions,” added the youngster.
Mentor Gagan Narang was equally proud saying, “Such performances were the real rewards”, adding that Elavenil made it “doubly special” as Gun For Glory celebrated the twin success.