Shooter Elavenil Valarivan's consistent performance secured her a berth at Tokyo Olympics 2021

Elavenil Valarivan will be representing India at Tokyo Olympics 2021 (Image source: Elavenil
Elavenil Valarivan will be representing India at Tokyo Olympics 2021 (Image source: Elavenil's Twitter)
Shreya Verma
Modified 20 Apr 2021

Currently ranked world no.1 in 10m air rifle event, Elavenil Valarivan is slated to represent India at the Tokyo Olympics 2021. Elavenil's brilliant performance lately has booked her place in the shooting contingent for Tokyo Olympics 2021.

Valarivan is the only shooter who has been picked on the team without any Olympic quota. NRAI swapped Elavenil Valarivan for the Olympic quota, secured by Anjum Moudgil in the 10m air rifle event.

NRAI decided the 15-member-shooting contingent for Tokyo Olympics 2021 based on the performances during the Olympic qualifying cycle. Elavenil Valarivan's consistent performance over the years marked her place at the Tokyo Olympics.

Elavenil is fielded to compete in the 10m air rifle event alongside Apurvi Chandela. She will also pair up with Divyansh Singh Panwar to take part in the 10m air rifle mixed event.

The young duo recently clinched the Gold medal in the mixed event at the ISSF World Cup 2021 in New Delhi. With the victory, Elavenil retained her world's top position in the 10m air rifle event.

Elavenil Valarivan's early life

The 21-year-old shooter hails from Tamil Nadu. Sports has always been a part of Elavenil Valarivan's life, even though she came from an academic family. Before picking up shooting professionally, Elavenil was a long-distance athlete and a sprinter.

In 2014, she was introduced to the shooting sport by her brother. She started her journey with a borrowed rifle. In the same year, she was included in the "Project Leap" started by Olympian Gangan Narang's Gun for Glory academy.

Elavenil with her mentor Olympian Gagan Narang (Source: Elavenil
Elavenil with her mentor Olympian Gagan Narang (Source: Elavenil's Twitter handle)

She grabbed the limelight when she clinched the Gold medal at the 2017 National Shooting Championship, beating her senior shooters. Since then, she has shown an upward growth in her performance graph.

Beating all odds, Elavenil broke world records

At the end of 2017, due to some bad exercises, Elavenil had to deal with a knee injury. An epitome of courage and determination, she did not let her injury affect her performance at the 2018 ISSF Junior World Cup.

She was not only able to clinch the Gold medal with an exacerbated knee injury but also broke the world record. Elavenil Valarivan shot 631.4 points to break the junior as well as the senior world record.

She hogged the limelight again in 2019 by clinching Gold medals at various ISSF World Cups. At the 2019 ISSF World Cup final, she secured first position and climbed up to the world's first rank. To date, she has retained her top position.

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On the road to Tokyo Olympics

As per NRAI's policy, an average of the five best performances is taken into account for deciding the Olympic team. Elavenil Valarivan had a stellar run at the ISSF World Cups over the years.

The ISSF World Cup 2021 in New Delhi was the last qualification event for Tokyo Olympics for Indian shooters. The performance at the post-pandemic World Cup was also taken into consideration.

Albeit Elavenil was unable to qualify for the finals of the 10m air rifle individual event, she clinched the Gold medal in the mixed event.

Gracenote Sports has predicted Elavenil Valarivan as the potential gold medalist for India at the Tokyo Olympics 2021. According to the statistical model, India will make history by winning 17 medals this year. Out of the 17 medals, 8 are expected from the shooting sport.

Hopefully, Elavenil Valarivan will continue her golden run of form at the Tokyo Olympics 2021.

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Published 20 Apr 2021
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