Abhishek Verma is an Indian 10-metre air pistol shooter. In 2021, he was ranked No. 1 in the 10 m air pistol men category by the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF).
Abhishek Verma was born on Tuesday, 1 August 1989 (age 32 years; as of 2021) in Panipat, Haryana. His zodiac sign is Leo. After completing his schooling, he pursued BTech in Computer Science, and later, he completed a degree in law. While pursuing law, he started shooting as a hobby.
Height (approx.): 5′ 7″
Weight (approx.): 70 kg
Eye Colour: Black
Hair Colour: Black
His father, Ashok Kumar Verma, works as a judge in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. His mother’s name is Kusum Verma.
In 2014, Abhishek’s father was posted in Fatehabad, Haryana, and while he was in there, he got to know about a shooting range. Abhishek developed an interest in shooting from there. Later, he did training in shooting at Eklavya Shooting Academy in Gurugram, Haryana. In an interview, he shared how he started shooting. He said,
My father is a judge and he’d get transferred every three years to a new district of Haryana. One day, I got to know about a shooting range in Hisar. I joined there. Within months, people started telling me that I could achieve great things in this sport, I was a natural. That boosted my morale. I started taking shooting seriously. Later, we got transferred to Fatehabad. I’d still come to Hisar every day by bus to practise. My father suggested I set up a shooting range at home to save on the travel time. But it wasn’t satisfying to practise at home.”
Later, he participated in the All India University Games competition in which he stood fifth. In an interview, he shared when he started taking shooting seriously. He said,
The beginning was with a rifle and then for a while I tried out my hands-on pistol shooting but had to stop in middle due to my semester exams. I got back to it in 2015 but it was still a hobby. It was only in 2017 that I started to take it seriously. I always wanted to try out shooting but we didn’t have the platform. Then in 2014 while I was in a gym, I overheard two people talking about a new shooting range that was coming up in Hisar. I took the address from them and that changed everything.”
In 2018, he participated in the Kerala Shooting Nationals and bagged his first silver medal at the national level competition. He then participated in various national and international shooting championships including ISSF World Cup and Olympics. With his hard work and extensive training, he was ranked No. 1 in the 10 m Air Pistol men category by the ISSF (as of 2021). Verma was selected to represent India in 10 m air pistol men category in Tokyo Olympics 2020 held in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
He is mentored by the Uttarakhandi shooter Jaspal Rana.
Abhishek is associated with the shooting club Yaduvanshi Shooting Sports Academy. He has participated in the shooting events like AP60, APMIX, and APTEAMM. In 2021, he got his provisional enrollment certificate from the Bar Council of Punjab & Haryana. In an interview, he said that apart from shooting, he wanted to practice as a cybercrime lawyer.
ISSF World Cup
- 2019: In 10 m air pistol event in Beijing
- 2019: In 10 m air pistol event in Rio de Janeiro
- 2021: In 10m air pistol men’s team event in New Delhi
Asian Shooting Championships
- 2019: In 10 m air pistol mixed team event in Doha
- 2018: In 10 m team air pistol event in Changwon
- 2019: In 10 m air pistol mixed team event in Rio de Janeiro
- 2018: In Men’s 10 m air pistol event in Jakarta Palembang
- 2021: In 10m air pistol event in New Delhi
- 2021: In 10m air pistol mixed team event in New Delhi
Asian Shooting Championship
- 2019: In 10 m air pistol men’s team event in Doha
- While he was in school, he participated in various state-level badminton competitions.
- He regularly works out in the gym and daily practices Yoga & meditation.
- Verma is an avid car lover, and he owns a Nissan car. In one of his Instagram posts, he mentioned that his dream car was Lamborghini, and his favourite car was Range Rover.
- In his leisure time, he loves to play the piano and guitar.
- In 2018, Amul India congratulated him on its official Facebook page for winning a Bronze medal in the 10 m Air Pistol Event at the Asian Games.
- Amid the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, he set up a mini-gym at his home to maintain his fitness. In an interview, he said,
I have stepped out twice – once for fixing my spectacle and another time to get my gym equipments. I am working out at home nowadays. I like to practice 365 days a year but right now I am able to do only dry practice. When I came home, the plan was to only stay for two-three days, but then the lockdown was announced and I got stuck here But there is no other way at the moment given the situation. I can only hope that things normalise and I am able to go back and start practising again. Definitely, it will be different now that the Olympics have been postponed. It’s not easy to maintain the focus and form. So I will concentrate on maintaining my form and focus till the Games.”
- During an interview, when he was asked whether he felt pressure before his shooting competition. He said,
There’s certain amount of pressure when you participate in nationals but it multiplies in international tournament. When you are involved in final round of a competition and have the lead, you start thinking about the medal but it’s important to detach yourself from the result. It’s extremely vital at that moment to just think about the shooting, the technique. You need to shut out the world. I always listen to my favourite music before my game and it works for me. When I shot a bad series I tell myself that I’m doing a mistake, to stop it and to keep using my technique.”
- During an interview, he shared his shooting training schedule. He said,
I train at least 5 days a week, 4 to 5 hours a day. I do this in blocks of at least two hours. Then I hit the gym in the evening. I train without a coach but we have coaches always for assistance whenever needed. I would recommend people to just learn to shoot and to do shot grouping fire, not to always think of scores.”
- Abhishek Verma follows a vegetarian diet.
- He shares a good bond with the Indian shooter Saurabh Chaudhary despite having 12 years of age gap. In an interview, Verma talked about Saurabh. He said,
Saurabh Chaudhary and I were selected to represent India in the 10 m air pistol at the Asian Games. We were roommates in Jakarta. I remember Saurabh had played in several junior competitions before but for me, it was my first. Saurabh and I are good friends. We both are vegetarians. So, whenever we travel to foreign countries, we both go out hunting for veg food together. That’s helped us bond.”
- In an interview, while talking about Abhishek, his father said,
He always wanted to make up for lost time ever since he first casually visited a range in Hisar, where I was posted, back in 2014. He sacrificed most of the simple joys of life—friends, social media, TV or films. He confines himself to his room where he reads books on shooting and watches videos to improve his skills. He trains five-six hours a day.”