Shooter, painter, psychologist: The many shades of a medallist

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New Delhi, March 18 (IANS) She is an international rifle shooter, an up-and-coming painter who also pursues sports psychology. These three things predominantly impact the life of Chandigarh’s Anjum Moudgil.

Juggling the three areas must be difficult. But Anjum, 23, is well aware of the balancing act required. This is where her study of sports psychology also comes in handy.

“Whatever you do, it requires full focus. When I am painting, I get into that mode. That requires concentration — which ultimately helps in my training for shooting. I don’t do any other meditation exercises,” Moudgil told IANS in an interview here.

Anjum, who won a silver medal in the women’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions (3P) event at the ISSF World Cup in Mexico last week, said that people always talked about burnouts — which happens when you overdo something. So having other areas of interest, she says, helps her.

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Talking about her achievement in Mexico, she said that she had won a Commonwealth Championship bronze medal in the same category earlier. “But this one is the biggest medal for me as it was in a World Cup — and it is a big inspiration to continue what I am doing and improve my level,” she adds.

She recently completed her Masters and is hoping to pursue further studies. But it was her interest in sports psychology that helped her deal with the demands of shooting, also helping her understand herself better, she says.

On her third interest, she admits she was not an elegant painter growing-up and the idea of painting was recent. “I am an abstract painter. I don’t do oil painting,” she reveals.

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She has a dedicated Instagram account that features her works of art. Some of Anjum’s art works have found buyers and she is always prodded by her national shooting teammates to do paintings for them. Her favourite among her works is the face of Gautam Buddha.

“When I go out (of the country), I don’t carry my painting stuff but I find time to do painting using coffee powder,” she says. Anjum reveals that her coach Deepali Deshpande and Heena Sidhu too were under-profiled painters.

The Chandigarh girl initially was a pistol shooter because of the influence of her mother Shubh Moudgil. Anjum shifted to rifle shooting after her stint at the National Cadet Corps which didn’t have pistol shooting facilities.

The Rifle 3P is a physically demanding event. Moreover, “you have to be equally good at all of the three events” — kneeling, prone and standing. Anjum suffered back injuries previously and it has only made her tougher.

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The coming months will test her strength of character, with the World Championship, Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games in sight. “I will look to give my best in all the competitions,” she said.

(Abhishek Purohit can be contacted at [email protected])

–IANS

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