Local girl Simranpreet Kaur Johal (17) has been selected for the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Junior World Cup coming up in Gabala, Azerbaijan, from September 16 to 23.
She will also represent India in the Abu Dhabi World Cup later this year. The junior shotgun shooter made it to the tournament by scoring the highest points, 67 out of 75, in the New Delhi trials on August 13. A year ago, she started practising at New Moti Bagh Gun Club in Patiala’s Main village. In three months, she was good enough to win two medals at the junior and senior levels of the 25th All-India GV Mavlankar Shooting Championship last year.
Simranpreet continued her winning streak by clinching a bronze medal at the 35th North Zone Shooting Championship in 2015. The Patiala girl picked up shooting after being inspired by her father, Narinder Singh Johal. Her brother, Sukhdarshan Singh Johal (13), is also a national-level shooter.
“I am fully determined and focussed on performing well in the Azerbaijan tournament to bring laurels to my country,” said Johal, a student of Yadvindra Public School. It was her dream to be a part of the Indian team. She idolises American shooter Vincent Hancock, who won the gold medal in the men’s skeet at Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012 to be the first skeet shooter to repeat as Olympic champion.
She is under the tutelage of Indian coach Amarjung Singh Sidhu and thankful to her father, Narinder Singh Johal, for supporting her career. Her father said her winning the India colours was a proud moment for him. “I am going to hire a foreign coach for her,” he said.