Narwal takes positives from Al Ain Para Sport World Cup

Promising Indian shooter Manish Narwal is on a mission.

The 17-year-old Narwal, who set the stage on fire with his sharp shooting skills just months after stepping into the shooting range three years ago, wants to set Senior and Junior world records by 2020, a press release from Asian Paralympic Committee (APC) said.

“This is a challenge to myself to get all the World Records – Junior and Senior Qualification and Finals – by 2020. Winning the gold at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics is also a dream. And I will give my 100 per cent to achieve that,” Narwal told Asian Paralympic Committee.

The young shooter narrowly missed out on a medal at the 2019 Al Ain World Shooting Parasport World Cup, despite having pulled off a Junior Qualification World record when he shot 579 points in P1 Men’s 10 Air Pistol SH1 qualifying round.

He eventually finished fourth in the finals. He was the silver medalist in the same event last year.

Narwal was obviously sad, but he says all those misses and mistakes have only have made him stronger as he vies for glory in bigger competitions.

“I was disappointed, which is very normal. But I know I cannot sit with that, I have to correct my mistakes and keep going,” he said.

“Moreover, I am learning to cope with all these setbacks. It’s important to forget the defeats sometime and keep working towards bigger goals, like the World Championships and the Paralympics.

“I am trying to think more like a champion, not thinking too much about the narrow misses, trying to just learn from my mistakes, amending it and going out confidently,” said the shooter from Faridabad, Haryana.

“I believe I didn’t control my emotions well. Also, I was little nervous. I need to practice more. There are several World Cups in the coming months. I will try to be better,” he added.

Having started playing the sport only in 2016, Narwal said he wasn’t a bright student in school so wanted to pursue a sport.

“I tried several other sports like athletics, football, badminton but didn’t get good results. In January 2016, I started shooting and it clicked straight away. I started winning medals quite quickly. I became confident that I can make a career in shooting,” said Narwal who admitted that his “life is all about shooting now starting at 5 in the morning”.

His younger brother is also part of the Indian shooting squad.

In his first senior Nationals, Narwal finished with two gold medals before picking up five more golds and a record in the 2017 National Championships. He also had an individual silver each at the 2017 Bangkok and 2017 Dubai World Cups.

Last year, he was unstoppable, winning eight gold and one silver in the Senior Nationals. In 2018 at the World Cup in Châteauroux France, his impressive form earned him three gold medals and a place at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

At the Asian Para Games 2018, he brought home India’s only gold from the shooting range. He clinched the gold in the P1 men’s 10m Air Pistol SH1 with a Games record, bagged a Junior World record en-route and took the silver in P4 50m Pistol Mixed SH1 finals. Narwal had finished ahead of China’s Huang Xing and Rio 2016 Paralympic gold medallist Yang Chao.

“Last year was very good for me. There were some achievements. One of the reasons was I started training under our national coach Subhash Rana, which saw a lot of positive changes in my approach.

“And this has given me the confidence that I can win a Paralympic medal. There has been an improvement in my scores, technically I am sounder now. I have also been using a new pistol, made small changes in my technique.”