Eyes set on the target
Hyderabad-based Esha Singh makes her place on the global sharp shooting platform as she bags a silver in the 2019 world pistol 10m championship held at Shul, Germany last week
Being passionate about sports from a very young age is what makes the journey of the 14-year-old sharpshooter Esha Singh, so special.
And, a silver medal during 10m pistol shooting world championship by winning silver medal, is a fulfilling achievement, shares Esha, who nurtured her passion towards sharp shooting from when she was six years old.
Excerpts from an interview:
Tell us about yourself
I study in ninth grade and I am from Bolton school. I was born and brought up in Hyderabad.
How did you find interest in sharp shooting?
My father's friend is a sharpshooter and my dad's a racer. He is a sports person, so he always encourages me to play. When I was like six years old when I started skating and played badminton.
During the time Samina Mirza and Saina Nehwal were role models and everyone wanted their kids to play badminton. My uncle was into sharpshooting.
There is no age limit to the sport. My father got into it and took with him on one Sunday. I tried my hand at it, liked the game and in it and then I got the grip of it.
How has been your experience with the sport?
My uncle suggested to me that I must go to Pune to an academy named, 'Guns for Glory'. For starters there are three levels and I have completed all the levels and I kept going there for training.
That's how I started my journey as a sharpshooter. I played my state level championship after six months for which I had won a gold medal and that made me feel proud.
You recently won the world championship, share your thoughts.
I trained hard for this championship; every time I would wake up in the morning, the only thing that would run in my mind was that I had to train myself.
When I finally won a sliver, which was a little disappointing at that point of time; it slowly dawned on me that I won a medal for India. There was loud crowd there at the event venue.
I have never seen such a loud crowd in New Delhi at sharpshooting game. Very few people really understand it in our country, which is more about cricket.
But in Germany, the world championship was big, and there were people from different countries cheering, which was completely different experience.
Did you wanted to step back any time?
Yes I did feel that, in the first year when I was nine I was not so serious about the sport and I did not know that my dad was serious about it.
The first year I tried to get into the Indian squad, but my scores were bad; I couldn't get into it and I felt like quitting the sport.
I wanted to give it another try the same year and I won a gold medal for South Zone and then I played Nationals in 2017 and in 2018, I came in the squad and I was in the 12 position and this year in the same championship I have won the silver.
Did you get any negative comments about your sport?
I have been in an environment where people are very open minded. But I am sure there are people, who think about it in a negative way and those who say girls cannot achieve things. Girls are equally strong as boys.
In this game, there are various levels like the 50m, where women were not allowed, but for the recent world cup they have introduced that as well.
How many hours of training do you get and what diet do you follow to maintain requisite fitness?
At home, I have two sessions, the first and the second session is for two hours. I get four to five hours of practice every day.
I go to the gym and maintain diet and eat dry fruits, milk and protein food.
The protein intake before the match should be high and we are not allowed to have sugar. I have dark chocolate, which I replaced the other chocolates with.
What are your future tournaments?
I am preparing for the Rio World Cup, I am going to be a wild card entry, in the game.
How do you manage your academics?
My tuitions have started and I do not go to school very often. Exams are conducted once for me and the average would be taken for what I score in that exam. My school has been very supportive in this case.