For Sheeraz Sheikh and his family a long cherished dream come true when Sheeraz displayed his shooting skills during selection trials in Patiala last week and got selected in National Team of skeet shooting.
He will now represent India in skeet shooting in the forthcoming world cup championships in Rio ( Brazil) and Cyprus.
Sheeraz (26) got selected for the national team squad after shooting well in National Championship held in Jaipur in December last year and was invited to undergo last week’s selection trials in Patiala. He started his match with a perfect score of 75/75 and finished with 121 /125 after five rounds. The elated shooter has set his sights on the upcoming trials in Delhi in which the team will be reconstituted for remaining two world cup championships to be held in the later months of the year.
A humble Sheeraj gives credit for his success to his father Yaseen Sheikh and elder brother Saif Sheikh, who is also a renowned shooter in the trap event and other family members who all decided to takeover the family business to allow Sheeraz to concentrate on shooting, and stood behind him and encouraged him even in difficult times.
“ I was among those lucky players who received immense support from family at every stage of shooting career”, said Sheeraj, who was awarded sportsman of the year in college for two consecutive years. His school principal Dr Prem Mehta has congratulated Sheeraz on his success and achievement and invited him to share his journey of success with students.
“It was indeed a matter of pride for us that our student has achieved such a great success”, said Dr Mehta.
Yaseen and Saif, however, credit his hard work and dedication for his achievements and believe that he needs to double up his training to book his berth for 2020 Tokyo Olympics, a goal for Sheeraz himself.
He began shooting in 2006 as a junior in skeet shooting and the Asian Shooting Championship in Kuwait in 2008 was his first international competition where he finished 4th after shooting the junior finals and got the first ever junior team gold for the country. In the same year, he shot in Asian Clay Shooting Championship in Jaipur, where he bagged his first individual bronze medal and second team gold medal for India.
He believes his performance increased after foreign coach Ennio Falco became coach of Indian Skeet Shooting Team. ”My coach always has trust on me that I have potential to perform better on world matches and win medals for the country”, said the shooter after his entry into the national team.