Published: 29th August 2019
Did you know that Elavenil Valarivan who just bagged gold in the Shooting World Cup, was born in Cuddalore?
20-year-old Elavenil is an English student at Bhavan's Sheth R A College of Science, Commerce & Arts, Ahmedabad
The year was 2004. It was a time when the rest of the world was almost convinced that cricket and hockey are the only sports that Indians can play. Soon it was August and the world's attention was diverted to Athens — the venue of that year's Summer Olympics. It was almost unexpected, but then a young shooter from Rajasthan, Rajyavardhan Rathore won a silver in the men's double trap. That was the only Olympics medal that India bagged in 2004.
This was the beginning of an era. In 2008, yet another Indian shooter Abhinav Bindra won the gold in Men's 10 m Air Rifle. Four years later, during the London Olympics, Vijay Kumar won a silver in men's Men's 25 Rapid Fire Pistol and Gagan Narang won a Bronze in Men's 10m Air Rifle.
This was seven years ago. Did 2012 mark an end to India's medal hunt in shooting? That was when the country's attention was glued on to a 20-year-old who was born in Cuddalore, Elavenil Valarivan. After winning a gold medal in the 2018 ISSF Junior World Cup, on August 29, she won a gold medal in women's 10m Air Rifle at the Shooting World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, with 251.7 points.
A native of Tamil Nadu's Cuddalore, she did a major part of her growing up in Ahmedabad. Her parents had moved there in 2002 when she was just three. A quick look at Elavenil's social media handles and one gets to see that she's your regular 20-year-old. She loves dogs and rifle and calls herself 'daddy's little angel', admits that she loves to travel and munch on a bar of chocolate. There's also some love for Durjoy Dutta's books, going by the posts.
An alumnus of Divine Buds High School, Ahmedabad, Elavenil is currently an English student at Bhavan's Sheth R A College of Science, Commerce & Arts, Ahmedabad. Even though she lives in Gujarat, this shooter would never miss a chance to go back to Tamil Nadu whenever she can, to visit her grandparents in Cuddalore.