Meet the lawyer who took ‘gun’ more seriously: Abhishek Verma biography

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Abhishek Verma KreedOn
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How many of you know the shooter with twirled moustache and glasses that appear a tad too big for him? Yes, we are talking about Abhishek Verma. We bet, you would have never heard this name till last month! Abhishek Verma grabbed India’s fifth Olympic place in shooting by winning the 10m air pistol gold medal at the ISSF World Cup in last month. Verma showcased his class in what was only his first ISSF World Cup final.

Within 4 years of picking up a gun, this shooter is now one of the most prominent members of shooting squadron in India. Abhishek, a bronze winner at the 10m Air Pistol event during his debut at the Asian Games, has little international exposure but is proving to be one of the finest shooters on the course. Here’s the interesting story of Abhishek Verma which proves the notion great things can be achieved irrespective of age.

About Athlete
Full Name
Abhishek Verma
Age
30
Sport Category
Sports Shooting - Air Pistol
Date of Birth
August 1, 1989
Hometown
Haryana
Ranking
3 (ISSF)

Abhishek Verma Biography

Early days

Abhishek Verma was in Hisar when he came across the sport of shooting as a competitive sport. The Rohtak-born accompanied his father, who was a sitting judge. He quoted to Times of India once, “I picked up shooting as a hobby about three years ago (in 2015) when my father was posted in Hisar. I used to go to a gym there and got to know that there was a shooting range nearby. That’s where I first picked up a gun.”

Also Read | Manu Bhaker Biography: Here is India’s Young Shooting Superstar’s Story

Curious case of shooting

Verma’s infatuation with guns has a curious beginning. His father, a sessions judge, always had gun-carrying bodyguards around him. “They used to let me fire those guns sometimes. But I could not develop my interest further when I was a kid. My father was a judge and he used to get transferred every three years. I had to frequently change schools.” It was not until he was 26 that Abhishek started shooting as a hobby and he did not imagine it would ever go beyond that. “I used to spend 15-20 minutes a day at the shooting range,” he once told Indian Express.

The Journey

The hobby of shooting led him representing his university in the All India University Games and a fifth-place finish in the same made him participate in the Shooting Nationals for the first time in 2015. He shot a below average 553 there. Verma had participated in the National Shooting Championships in 2015 and 2016 but his scores were not that good. The Nationals at the end of 2017 was the turning point of sorts as he put in some consistent scores since the 2018 season began.

It was 2018, after being called up for trials he decided to seriously pursue the sport. He won silver in the Kerala Shooting Nationals and won 12th place in the open event. This feat helped him go up from around 75-80th position in the beginning of the year to 12th at the end of it. A national Shooting trial was the next stop for him. He won gold in trial 2 and after trials 1 and 2 he had moved up fifth in his rankings and by the end of Trials 3 and 4 he scaled up to fourth place. This provided him an opportunity to travel to Munich, Germany for the ISSF World Cup to shoot. He shot 585 there, making it the best Indian performance in 10m air pistol in the German city.

Munich was a another major confidence-booster for Verma. He came back to shoot another 585 in the Trial 5 qualifications, going on to beat athletes such as Jitu Rai, Saurabh Chaudhary, Amanpreet Singh, and Anmol Jain in the finals to win the coveted gold.

Coach’s Take

Coach Omendra Singh who trained Abhishek at the Eklavya Sports Shooting Academy in Gurugram gave him an ultimatum. He gave him six months to make up his mind if he wanted to pursue the sport seriously or not. Abhishek’s engineering and law degrees helped as he made detailed notes of each shot he fired. It was not easy to train Abhishek but his engineering and law notes helped his coach to understand his strengths and weaknesses as a shooter.

Achievements

MedalTournamentCategory
SilverWorld Championships 2018 Changwon10 m team air pistol
BronzeAsian Games 2018 Jakarta10 m air pistol
GoldWorld Cup 2019 Beijing 10 m air pistol

Lesser known facts

  • At the age of 25, Verma was still a hobby shooter. In fact, it was as recently as 2015 when he first hold the air pistol.
  • He learned shooting in Gurgaon’s Eklavya Sports Shooting Academy under coach Omendra Singh.
  • He has studied law and has also appeared for Civil Services.

In 2015, what had been a hobby for this young gun, turned him to national and international fame. He is no longer an athlete who is shooting just because there was a shooting range next to his gym. Instead, he is India’s best shooter in his category going into the games.  His imagination, though, has now turned into a dream; he is mapping out a full calendar ahead that culminates in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. There’s an unlucky subject though — his law career. Will the late bloomer’s best shot be enough for him to upset the scales in India colours in Tokyo Olympics? Only time has the answer to this question.


The God taught me to love everybody but the most ones I learned to love are the athletes. Desire, determination and discipline takes me to a great deal of love towards sports. One can call me an avid sport maniac because I love to pen down some glorious content on sports. Being from journalism background with experience in media from couple of years I would like to keep this legacy going and now joining Kreedon gives me one more platform to explore the new world. I am always up to have a word on sports with a coffee.

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