The horrors of sleeplessness on the eve of a major competition cannot be better elucidated by anyone other than rifle-shooter Apurvi Chandela. A review committee set up by the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) post the Rio 2016 debacle found out that Chandela had been disturbed in her sleep after a fresh batch of Indian athletes had arrived at the Olympic Village and was exhausted going into her event the following morning.

Four years ago, at the same quadrennial showpiece in London, another shooter had tossed and turned in his bed the night before the finals even as the weather gods waged a belligerent war outdoors.

“Firstly, I was very stressed. To say, I wasn’t even a bit scared ahead of the big day would qualify as lying. But then yeah, I did get some sleep much later,” Vijay Kumar, the country’s first-ever Olympic medallist in a pistol event (men’s 25m rapid…

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