Anjum banks on low heart rate for Tokyo glory

Anjum has a passion for fitness. Her training drills include core with own body weight, balancing exercise and weight training five times a week.

New Delhi: Anjum Moudgil, the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games silver-medallist is banking on her low heart rate, an indicator of high fitness level to tackle the gruelling women’s 50 metres rifle 3 positions event during the Tokyo Olympics starting July 23.

The Chandigarh rifle shooter is part of the 15-member squad announced by National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) on Sunday for the Olympics. The 50m rifle 3 positions is considered toughest of all rifle events. The competitor has to shoot 40 shots each in kneeling, prone and standing in that order.

According to Ashok Ahuja, former head of the sports medicine centre in Patiala’s National Institute of Sports (NIS), the lower pulse rate means the shooter wouldn’t get tired as the heart can pump more blood to the system per minute.

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“It’s a big advantage. A healthy young athlete’s heart having a low pulse rate can pump 6.5 litres of blood per minute whereas non-athlete heart pumps close to 5 litres,” Ahuja told IANS of the benefits of having low heartbeat per minute.

Anjum has a passion for fitness. Her training drills include core with own body weight, balancing exercise and weight training five times a week. This is besides spending a couple of hours each day at the shooting ranges.

“My normal heart rate is between 60-65 beat per minute. It is much lower early in the morning,” she reveals.

In a competition like precision shooting, pre-event anxiety could be controlled because of strong heart muscles.

“If a shooter is unfit, the pulse rate would shoot up leading to a shaky hand that can spoil the scores,” said Ahuja.

Anjum says she will start training from April 15.

“The top shooters got a short break after the New Delhi World Cup that concluded on March 28. Since there is no facility for training in Chandigarh, I will shift to Delhi to practice at Dr Karni Singh Shooting Ranges,” she said.

To prepare for the Olympics, she will not make any major changes either in her physical training or shooting drills.

“The key feature of training will be focus. I will sit down with my national team coach and chalk out plans for coming months,” said the Arjuna Awardee.

The 2018 World silver-medallist in the 10 metres air rifle event, says she is good in both air weapon and small bore events.

“The weight of the trigger is different in an air rifle. The recoil of the gun is more in the small bore (50m). But my main focus will now be 50m rifle 3 positions,” she said.

She will also compete in the 10m air rifle mixed event during the Olympics.

But due to lockdown in Europe, her plan to go to Germany for testing ammunition is on hold.

“The NRAI has enough ammunition for training as well as for the Olympics, so I will take it from there [since I can’t go to Europe],” she said.

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