In 1 day, 13-year-old Esha Singh shoots down 3 national gold -
In 1 day, 13-year-old Esha Singh shoots down 3 national gold
Posted 30 Nov 2018 02:05 PM

Imagine beating India's current shooting sensation Manu Bhaker at the age of 13 to become the national champion. Quite an achievement, right?

Now, imagine repeating it three times on the same day.

Telangana girl Esha Singh pipped Manu to bag gold in the 10m air pistol senior women, 10m air pistol junior women as well as 10m air pistol youth women at the ongoing 62nd National Shooting Championship in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday.

While the new kid on the block shot a total of 241 points as compared to the 16-year-old Manu's 238.9 in the senior category, Esha edged past the 2018 World Cup, Commonwealth Games and Youth Olympic Games gold medallist by 1.1 points in the junior category. In the youth event, Esha shot 240.9 for the first place, with Manu placed third with 216.3

Not just Manu, Esha also got the better of the likes of experienced Heena Sidhu, who won bronze at the 2018 Asian Games, and two-time Asian Games medallist Shweta Chaudhary en route to her senior title.

A product of ace shooter Gagan Narang's academy, Gun For Glory, Esha picked up shooting only three years ago when her father Sachin Singh, a rally driver, wanted her to try the sport.

"Three years is a remarkable time to go from learning the basics to winning a national championship. It's a great achievement for someone who is so young," Narang, a 2012 London Olympics bronze medallist.

Esha's unwavering dedication to shooting caught the eye of Narang when she joined the Pune-based academy in 2015.

"She was very dedicated right from the start. This has been possible only because of her and her parents' dedication. Her father is very persuasive and has been very diligent with her training," Narang said.

Part of Gun For Glory's Project Leap — which mentors 20 young shooters across the country — Esha juggles her training between Pune and Hyderabad in order to balance her shooting and education.

The youngster has broken into the Indian shooting contingent, but Narang believes the actual work for him and his team of coaches begins only now.

"The real challenge of nurturing her, wrapping her and protecting her starts now," Narang said.

The seasoned shooter added that despite Esha's giant-killing show at the Nationals, it is too early to come up with fancy "future star" kind of labels for her.

"Getting there is one thing and staying there quite another. Yes, beating Commonwealth and Asian Games medallists is no mean feat. She should be happy for a couple of days before getting back to training," Narang said.

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