Asher Noria brings double trouble to AASU
Published: Thursday, September 23, 2010
Updated: Thursday, September 23, 2010 11:09
"It is an adrenaline rush every time I smash the two clay targets," said Asher Noria.
Noria was named a member of the 36-man shooting squad for the Oct. 3-14 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India. The decision came on Aug. 31 by the National Rifle Association of India. Noria is a Junior World Champion and a world record holder in double trap shooting.
Double trap shooting is when two disks, called traps, simultaneously launch into the air, and the marksman must shoot down both targets. The shooter moves through five adjacent stations, shooting at one pair of targets. The shooter has the option of where and when he mounts his gun, although he may have it in position before he calls for the trap. The traps are voice-activated. They release on the shooter's call.
Noria was unable to be in India for the announcement because he was at AASU where he is a student. Noria is a freshman and a member of the NU pledge class of the Kappa Sigma fraternity.
"In a sense, when I am here, I like to be here," Noria said. "It is a different experience when I come here. It is nice."
Noria came to AASU purely for the Georgia Tech program, which is a link between AASU and the Georgia Institute of Technology. Noria plans to attend Georgia Tech next year to pursue a degree in engineering.
Noria's journey to the upcoming Commonwealth game was not easy. The list for potential team members was created three years ago.
Noria had an original spot on the squad. Since he was unable to attend due to his high school finals, he was bumped off the squad, as he did not have a place score. After he completed his finals, he was selected for the Junior World Cup, which he won in 2009. He was the first person ever to win the World Cup two years consecutively.
Ronjan Sodhi, Asher's mentor, gave him some words of encouragement during a rough spot between his first and second World Cup. "Never fall back on your previous accomplishments, always push to do better," he said. These words stuck with Noria as he claimed his second World Cup victory.
"I know how it feels to lose on the last target as well as win on the last target," Noria said.
He hit his last targets to tie, and then proceeded to win the shoot-off and claim the gold for his second time consecutively at the Junior World Cup.
His spot on the India squad for the Commonwealth Games looked better after his win at the 2009 World Cup. Noria's favorite event was the recent 50th Shooting World Championship in Munich, Germany, during August. He took home the gold and set the world record score 146/150.
After his win in Munich, Noria was back in Hyderabad, India, to pack and make his way to AASU.
Noria has seen many wins in his eight years as a shooter, but he has also seen his fair share of disappointments.
"To be able to suppress the nervousness and just focus on your goal is something really challenging," he said. "Shooting is a mental sport. You need to be there the whole time. Otherwise, it will just slip by you."
"To stand up on the podium and look at my flag on top of the others and to hear my national anthem – it doesn't get better than that," he said. "After a hard competition and you get to see that all the effort for so many years was worthwhile – makes it all worth it."
Noria has left the U.S. for the Commonwealth Games. He will be competing Oct. 6-7 in the double trap category of the Commonwealth Games. He is excited about the location, as he has shot many events before in New Delhi.
"It is like I have home field advantage," he said. "I will be there on the 24 practicing."