Hangzhou, Sep 26 (PTI) Eating 'tasteless' supplements, undergoing breathing exercises and yoga is not something a teenager would love to do daily but that is the routine of shooter Ramita Jindal who has emerged as a star for India in the Asian Games here.
On Sunday, Ramita was a part of the silver-winning Indian women's 10m air rifle team and clinched an individual bronze in the same event.
She and Divyansh Singh Panwar missed a bronze by a whisker on Tuesday when they lost the third-place match 18-20 after taking a big lead initially.
The two medals were her first on the international senior circuit.
The 19-year-old hailing from Ladwa town in Haryana's Kurukshetra district is not complaining for missing out things which a normal teenager does.
"I worked with a psychologist -- Gayatri Vartak. She helps me with all the techniques. I do all the breathing exercises and yoga in the morning. It helps me in keeping myself relaxed and calm," Ramita said after her match on Tuesday.
"Diet is also very important and I have a nutritionist also. She helps me with the supplements. I have to do blood tests also. Since I am a vegetarian, I have to use all those supplements. The supplements taste really really bad, but can't help. I have to do it to keep standing for long hours."
It was Ramita's father Arvind, an advocate by profession, who took her to a shooting range near their home in 2017 to explore what the sport was all about. Ramita immediately was in love with the sport. She was just 13 then and was studying in class VIII.
"I started shooting at the Karan Shooting Academy. I liked the sport and took it up as a career," said Ramita who won gold in the ISSF Junior World Championships in Cairo last year.
Doting father takes care of her shooting needs
Ramita's father is also an income tax advisor in Kurukshetra and as such she did not face the financial difficulties many of the Indian athletes endure in their journey to the top.
"My father does not say 'no' for anything I want. You want a rifle, get that. You want a new kit, get that. He never made me face any hardships, even though he will not buy his stuff," she said.
Ramita, a student of B.Com Honours in Delhi's Hansraj College, has the option of not attending classes as the institution exempts her from studies during training and competitions.
"When I am competing I don't do any studies. Now, I am in the Asian Games, I did not bring my books. But in the off-season and during break from shooting, I do my studies.
"Otherwise, I study before examinations, it's last minute preparation. I don't attend college, the college supports me. I do get the notes from friends and books so that I can study on my own. Youtube also helped a lot in my studies."
Ramita has even inspired her younger brother Pranav, who is 15 years, old to become a shooter.
"I have a younger brother Pranav. He started shooting after seeing me. He is 15 and he is training with me in GFG (Gun for Glory) Chennai now."
Aim is to emulate Abhinav Bindra
Ramita said no Indian woman has won a shooting medal in the Olympics and she would want to do just that next year in Paris.
"Abhinav sir is the inspiration of every shooter. There is no woman shooter in India who has won an Olympic medal, I want to become one.
"Paris Olympics is too close for me, I just got into the senior team. But I will try to be a part of the Indian team in the Paris Olympics and try to win a medal there.
"When I came to shooting I saw only Anjum di, Ela di. And after knowing them, I came to know about Abhinav sir. My whole family is not from a sports background."
She said she had not come to the Asian Games with an aim to win medals, but to learn things for the road ahead.
"I just came here with the thought that I will learn and experience new things, not particularly with the aim of winning medals. Whatever the result here, I thought that will help me in learning things.
"Winning medal was not my target but I have been preparing for a long time. I have been playing World Cups and World Championships. I have been experimenting things and applying in these matches and I am happy that it had gone well."
She said she has not abandoned the 50m 3P and will continue competing in the event in future.
"In the Tokyo Olympics, I saw Anjum Moudgil doing both 10m air rifle and 50m 3P and she was balancing both and doing well. I was really motivated by her. I am also trying to do both. It is difficult and right now I am focusing on the 10m air rifle. But I will definitely do 50m 3P in future."