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Chandela wins gold in Sweden with world record effort

Indian shooter Apurvi Chandela broke the world record on way to winning gold in the women’s 10 metre air rifle event at the Swedish Cup Grand Prix.

Chandela shot 211.2 in the event held on Tuesday to surpass the feat of Chinese Olympic gold medallist Yi Siling, who held the record with 211.

The result marked a positive start for Chandela, who has already qualified for the Rio Olympics.

The silver and bronze went to Swedish shooters Astrid Steffensen (207.6) and Stine Nielsen (185.0).

An elated Chandela said: “This gold at Sweden has further strengthened my resolve to bag a medal at the Rio Olympics this year. The support, encouragement and wishes received from my well wishers from Rajasthan has stood me in good stead in various international tournaments.”

Chandela had won the gold in the National Championships held last month.

She had won an Olympic quota place for India after winning a bronze in the ISSF World Cup in Changwon, Korea in April last year.

Earlier, When she wasn’t picked for the World Championships just ahead of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, Chandela had gone into a low phase and even cried daily, wondering if she’d missed out on something big. “But my mother told me to look ahead to the CWG,” she recalls. 

There, battling a ligament tear on the ankle, Chandela had bagged the gold watched by a doting extended family who had travelled to Scotland and were watching her shoot live for the first time. “They usually just follow scores on internet,” she says. 

She grew up liking Didier Drogba’s clinical finishing for Chelsea and watched the Indian cricket team, learning for the first time what it meant to win for a country. 

Air rifle happened at 16, but the pursuit of excellence and love for sport got deeply etched on her mind. Apurvi’s go-to on the playlist she listens to in between shooting matches is Waving Flag — a football anthem, and beyond the range her biggest challenge she recalls was when her cheek plate of the gun broke into three a day before travelling for competition and she had to keep her head and not fall apart.
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