CWG: Mehuli still has room for improvement: Coach Karmakar

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Kolkata, April 9 (IANS) Though lauding 17-year-old shooter Mehuli Ghosh for her silver medal-winning performance in the 10 metre Air Rifle event at the 21st Commonwealth Games (CWG), coach and former Olympian shooter Joydeep Karmakar said he is not over the moon just yet.

“It’s a happy moment for us. This was her maiden appearance in CWG and getting into the final and then bagging silver in shoot-off is creditable,” Karmakar told IANS over phone from Gold Coast in Australia.

“Still, I will go low about it and I would like to say, being a coach and a technical person, there is much scope for improvement,” he added.

Significantly, Mehuli lost to eventual champions Martina Lindsay Veloso of Singapore in the shoot-off after both were tied at a CWG record score of 247.2 in the final.

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In the shoot-off, Mehuli scored 9.9 while Martina shot 10.3. Apurvi Chandela, the defending champion got the bronze with 225.3.

Mehuli is in the form of her life after bagging two bronze medals at the recently-concluded ISSF World Cup in Guadalajara, Mexico.

“I had a talk with her and see she is only 17 so, there was lack of experience somewhere. These are the things you learn from. She is lucky enough to have exposure of this kind and these kind of events will give us enough experience,” Karmakar said, adding he is not “very happy” but “satisfied”.

For Mehuli, the ISSF World Shooting Championships later in the year is the “prime target” now, Karmakar said.

“Mehuli is on the right track. The World Championships will be the main target for her now as Tokyo 2020 is on our minds,” said the coach.

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Overall, it was a good day for Indian shooters at the ongoing CWG as Star marksman Jitu Rai bagged gold with a masterful performance as fellow shooters Om Mitharwal, Mehuli and Apurvi also boosted the Indian medals tally.

“Commonwealth Games has always been a happy hunting ground for shooters,” opined Karmakar who finished a credible fourth in the men’s 50 meters rifle prone event at the 2012 London Olympics.

“My prediction is that the results will be better than Glasgow as the number of events has been cut down,” the 38-year-old signed-off.

(Debayan Mukherjee can be contacted at [email protected])

–IANS

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