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Asian Games

Apurvi Chandela's 5th place finish once again proves the importance of mental strength in sports

Apurvi Chandelas 5th place finish once again proves the importance of mental strength in sports

Akshat Mehrish

Published: 20 Aug 2018 10:53 AM GMT
From the Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang, comes the eighteenth edition of the Asian Games. Over five hundred and fifty sportspersons make up the Indian contingent, which makes it one of the biggest to go overseas. After India's excellent performances at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, expectations will be high. Sports such as Shooting and Wrestling stole the show at the Gold Coast Games earlier this year, and are expected to be India's strengths at the Asiad. The Shooting contingent, especially, raised the hopes of the Indian crowd after a spirited performance Down Under. A total of sixteen medals at the Commonwealth Games, along with excellent performances by shooters throughout the year, made the Indian fans eager for Asiad. However, the Indian contingent hasn't had the best of starts in Jakarta. Although the shooters have brought back two medals in two days,
some of the big names have disappointed.
Manu Bhaker and Abhishek Verma started Day One on a wrong note. They were eliminated in the qualifying round. With no medal in the 10m Mixed Team Pistol event, we moved on to 10m Air Rifle. The pairing of Apurvi Chandela and Ravi Kumar yielded results in this one, as they won the Bronze medal to kick-start India's Asian Games. Chandela then returned on Day Two of the Games. This time she was on her own, participating in the 10m Air Rifle Women's event. However, the Twenty-Five-year old faltered on the big stage, eventually finishing fifth. The Indian Shooters previous records show an alarming trend. She has gone close to the top prize on several occasions but has faltered at the last step.
Chandela's final big Gold medal came four years ago when she won at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

After that, the series of close encounters began.

Chandela secured a second-place finish during the ISSF World Cup in Munich in 2015. The same year she hs also finished third in the ISSF World Cup in Changwon. Both times, she was within touching distance of the Gold medal only to stumble at the final stage. The trend continued over the years. Only recently, Chandela finished just outside the podium places in Munich stage of the ISSF World Cup. She had previously finished seventh in Guadalajara. Apurvi Chandela's skill in unquestionable. However, it is a much-overlooked factor that is stopping her from justifying her talent. The Indian shooter's frustrating record in the final stages once again proves the need for mental training in sports. It is an often overlooked part of the skill set that shows to be handy during such tournaments. Entirely just, the bottom line is that at such a big stage it is difficult to separate one sportsperson from other based on pure skill. It is the mental strength that allows one to rise above others. There is no denying that Apurvi Chandela is a good shooter. And at only Twenty-Five years of age, has a considerable playing career ahead of her. Regarding skill, the killer has proven that she is amongst the best when it comes to her category. However, Chandela has shown signs of an alarming trend, which is common amongst other Indian sportspersons as well. Her records over the years show that she is not being let down by her skill but by a factor which is usually ignored in the Indian sports sector- Mental strength. Shooting, especially, is a sport which has a requirement for the same characteristic. Accordingly, it is time for us to start taking mental strength more earnestly than we have before. An aspect if mastered can help our sportspersons become world-beaters.
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