Shweta Chaudhary was forced to shoot with her spare gun on Saturday after the Korean customs staff confiscated her original gun at the Incheon airport.
Despite the setback, the Indian stayed firm to fetch the county a bronze medal in the women’s 10M air pistol at the Asian Games.
“My weapon has been stuck with the customs officials here for the last three days. I changed my weapon recently and there was a problem with the new serial numbers. There were some registration issues. I had trouble sorting that out,” the 28-year-old Faridabad shooter told the media here at the Ongnyeon International Shooting Range.
“Finally, they gave the approval to collect it this morning but my competition was also at the same time. So, I decided to fire with the spare weapon. Both of them are of the same make but I would have wanted to fire with the new weapon. I practiced 13 rounds with the spare weapon, which I hadn’t used for a while. Anyway, I’m glad to have won the bronze with this.”
What makes her bronze medal achievement more impressive is that she struggled for most of the 2012-13 season with a shoulder injury, making a come back this year. “The shoulder of my shooting arm is injured. The injury is due to excessive shooting. Because of the injury I’ve not been able to fire my best and missed 2013. This bronze is great motivation for me and I hope to build on it. The next year is a very crucial year with World Cups and many quota places for the Rio Olympics up for grabs. My goal is to make the cut for the Olympics. I’ve been working hard for it.”
Coach Mohinder Lal praised his ward’s performance. “Although Shweta has not been amongst the medals, she has been one of the consistent performers this year. I’m sure the bronze will spur her.”