In only her second international tournament at the senior level, 19-year-old Ramita Jindal achieved remarkable success at the Asian Games 2023 returning with two medals – silver in the women’s 10m air rifle team and an individual bronze at the same event. From not expecting any medals before the Games, Ramita has become the toast of the nation and she is thankful for her training that helped her hold her nerves in the pressure situations.
“It was my first senior medal, and I was not expecting the medal, but I was prepared for it. During training, there were moments of doubt and fluctuations in confidence, as shooting is a mental game,” Ramita told News18 Sports in an exclusive conversation on the sidelines of the felicitation ceremony held in Delhi on Thursday.
She went on to add: “But I didn’t know how I would manage all the pressure situations and representing India in the Asian games. But all the training, breathing, exercises, and mental training helped me, and I counted on myself at the precious moments and performed well at all the finals.”
Talking about having nerves ahead of big events like the Asian Games, Ramita, who hail from hails from Ladwa in Kurukshetra, said,” You have to shake that off; knowing the Asian Games is there and I am going to represent India. It was a new experience for me, but yeah all the coaches and the NRI staff helped me a lot. They helped me to deal with the pressure. There is like team psychologist and a high-performance manager. There were strategies and drills, and we did well enough to be prepared for it.
The World Junior Champion, bested her senior compatriot Mehuli Ghosh for the bronze medal, shooting a near-perfect 10.8 in the shoot-off. “I was not thinking much at that time,” Ramita said talking about the the 10.8 score she managed under pressure. “I was just focusing on myself. I knew if I focused on myself and gave my best shot, I would be satisfied with my performance, and that’s what happened.”
Ramita shot a brilliant 631.9 in qualification to qualify for the finals in the second spot and was in the medal contention throughout the final. Even though she had a blip with a low score of 9.9 in the 16th shot, she shot straight back up with scores of 10.5, 10.7 and the event bronze medal-winning shot of 10.8. While Ghosh missed out on the podium by a whisker, her 4th place finish in Qualification, alongside Ramita’s 2nd place contributed immensely to the Silver medal in the team event.
Talking about her next goal, Ramita had a quick answer and it was the Asian Championships with an Olympic quote up for grabs. “My next competition is the World Championships, which also serves as an Olympic qualifier,” she said. “I’m preparing diligently for it.”