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Target in sight: Shooting well beyond their age

other Updated: Aug 12, 2010 01:13 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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They are not as illustrious as their senior counterparts like Abhinav Bindra, RVS Rathore and Gagan Narang. Nonetheless, they would be representing the country — and carrying the same burden of expectations —in the Olympic Youth Games to be held from August 14-26 in Singapore.

Young pistol shooter Ruchi Singh, not quite 18 but nurturing the desire to one day emulate world champion Tejaswini Sawant who won gold in Munich recently, is gearing up for one of the biggest occasions in her life.

"I am one of the three shooter to have secured the quote for the Youth Olympics and am looking forward to do will on the big stage," says the coy girl from Sultanpur who took to shooting in 2005 only by accident.

"Some shooting buffs had organised a camp in Amethi. I just walked in and after a 10-day training camp, I was one of the four shooters selected from a group of 30," says the Class XI student and daughter of a farmer hailing from Dhourahra village in Sultanpur.

"Ummeed se jaa rahi hoon, medal nahin toh experience toh gain karoongi. (I am going with a lot of hope. If not a medal, I will gain valuable experience," the girl, who secured the Youth Olympics quota at the Asian Championships in Doha earlier this year, said.

Not having the resources to buy a new pistol, Ruchi has always had to play with a borrowed pistol. This, however did not stop her from shooting a personal best of 376/400, which earned her a silver at the National Championships in Jalandhar this year.

"During the national camp in Pune, I was without a pistol, but a well-wisher lent me a pistol and I am extremely grateful for that. I’m also grateful to all the senior campers like Aneesa Sayyed and Harveen Sarao, who have helped me a lot to improve my game," she said "Besides the gun, I've 'borrowed' enough experience, which will serve me well in Singapore."