After winning gold and silver medals in the recent two World Cups, Ankur Mittal, ace double trap shooter of the country and World number 5 now, sets his eyes on the World Cup in Cyprus which would commence in the last week of April.
With his remarkable performance in the World Cup in Mexico on March 22, Ankur won the gold medal, leaving behind the world number one James Willet of Australia. Ankur, however, had to satisfy himself with a silver in the World Cup in New Delhi in February this year losing the Gold Medal match to Willet whom he defeated in Mexico.
With the two great performances in consecutive world cups, Ankur is elated and is confident of replicating the performance in the World Cup in Cyprus.
“You generally gain confidence after winning medals at international level,” said Ankur, who has started his practice for the next international competition. In Mexico, the 25-year-old shooter had created finals World record scoring 75/80 to win the gold medal.
Although shooting was in his blood, reaching this far had never been easy for Ankur . He had grown up watching his father Ashok Mittal shooting but it was from his brother Ajay Mittal who became his inspiration .
“In 2007 Ajay had won Gold medal in the Asian Championship in double trap and back to back he won it again in 2008. It was then I was inspired to try my hands with shooting,” Ankur said, adding, “I started with trap shooting in 2008 and reached as far as nationals but in 2009 I switched over to double trap.”
Besides his own brother who also gave him the initial training, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore was the biggest inspiration. He also acknowledges the contribution of Ronjon Sodhi , another legendary double trap shooter of the country. In 2010 he had gone for a week`s training to Italy but it was Sodhi who turned out to be a great help.
Consequently, Ankur was selected in the Junior Indian team and won a Gold Medal in the Junior World Cup in 2011 and a bronze in the same year in World cup in Finland. However the hard work of this young shooter got him a place in the senior Indian team in 2013 which he had retained till now.
Ankur holds the national record of highest score of 144/150 . Last year he won a bronze in the Asian Championship in Abu Dhabi. He then won the Gold medal of the National Championship at Jaipur in November and secured his place in the selection trials in Patiala for the World Cups in New Delhi, Mexico and Cyprus leaving behind all his competitors . Ankur, now, targets the Cyprus World Cup.
Ankur`s family hails from Sonepat but is now settled in Delhi . He did his schooling in Delhi and graduation from Hansraj College . Now he is pursuing MBA from Manav Rachan International University . On completing his education, he wants to join the family business.
The shooter reveals that the best way for him to relax is spend time at home and watch his favourite TV series like Flash. He also loves to explore nature and scuba diving.
Besides shooting, badminton was Ankur`s second love and he had played till state level when young . “At times I go for swimming and occasionally play golf,” states Ankur who opts for gym , yoga and meditation to keep himself physically fit.