Pistol coach Jaspal Rana: Yashaswini Singh Deshwal is so special
Pistol coach Jaspal Rana says former junior star Deshwal's recent double medal-winning show at ISSF World Cup in Rio de Janeiro proves she fits well in the group of world's elite shooters
It's been a period of mixed emotions for Jaspal Rana. On one hand, the multiple Asian Games medalist-turned-shooting coach has experienced the disappointment of not being nominated for the Dronacharya Award. On the other, his wards have continued achieving success on the international stage.
Pistol shooter Yashaswini Singh Deshwal, the only Indian female to win two medals (gold in 10m air pistol, silver in mixed air pistol event) at the ISSF World Cup in Rio de Janeiro recently, is yet another junior who has excelled on the senior platform under Rana just like world champions Manu Bhaker, Saurabh Chaudhary and Anish Bhala. Indian shooters topped the medals tally (5 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze) at the Rio World Cup but Rana is particularly pleased to see Yashaswini, 22, live up to her potential on the senior circuit.
"Yashaswini is a very sincere shooter and has achieved a lot of success at the junior level, but somehow she has been missing out on medals in senior events. With this double medal show, she has proved that she rightly belongs among the seniors," Rana told mid-day from Rio recently.
In 2016, Yashaswini won silver in the 10m air pistol event at the ISSF Junior World Cup in Suhl, Germany. A year later, she clinched gold in the same event at the same venue in the ISSF Junior World Championships. Among the senior shooters in Rio, Yashwaswini excelled under pressure and that's what Rana is most impressed about. "In the 10m air pistol finals, Yashaswini got the better of World No. 1 Olena Kostevyc of Ukraine [who had to settle for silver]. Olena is an Olympic gold medallist [Athens 2004] and beating her is no mean feat. I told Yashaswini to erase the names of her competitors from her mind while going into the event. I told her to forget that there is a World or Olympic Champion in the fray. It's tough but she did it. And let's not forget, she also sealed India's ninth Olympic quota en route," added Rana, who began India's shooting success story with a gold at the Hiroshima Asian Games in 1994. He went on to win three more gold medals at the 2006 Doha Asiad.
Yashaswini's second medal at the Rio World Cup was even more fascinating. "She and partner Abhishek shot brilliantly to challenge compatriots Manu and Saurabh, the reigning world champions in the event. Eventually, Manu-Saurabh narrowly prevailed [17-15] and added a fourth successive mixed air pistol gold at World Cups to their tally but Yashaswini showed once again that she can put up a fight at the biggest stage and that augurs well for her as well as Indian shooting," Rana signed off.
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