Sixteen-year-old shooter Malaika Goel, who won a silver medal in the recently concluded Glasgow Commonwealth Games, was a given a rousing welcome at a ceremony organised to mark her homecoming at the Guru Nanak Dev Stadium on Wednesday.
Swamped with emotion seeing the huge gathering present at the spot to greet her, Goel said, “Since it was my first major international event, I was a bit nervous, but regained confidence after initial rounds. I could have won a gold; nevertheless, I will keep improving my game and give my best shot at the upcoming Asian Games and later at the Olympics games.”
On being asked about her role models in the shooting world, she said Abhinav Bindra had made a real mark internationally. Hence, he was her inspiration.
Seeking support from the state government for shooters, Goel said, “The shooting range at Narangwal is really far from city. It will be of great help to shooters if a shooting range is set up in the city.”
Her coach Gurjeet Singh said, “It is a proud moment for me, as our efforts have bore fruit. It is indeed a great achievement at such a small age, and I am sure that she will continue to make the country proud.”
Kuljit Singh Mahi, sub-divisional magistrate (west), who was chief guest on the occasion, felicitated Goel. District sports officer Kartar Singh Sehamby and NS Bhogal, senior vice-president, District Rifle Association, also congratulated Malaika on her remarkable achievement. Goel took to shooting at a tender age of 11 at the shooting range at Narangwal. She stunned everyone with her outstanding performance at the school nationals in 2009, winning a gold medal, when she was 12.
Later she bagged a gold medal in Asian Air gun Championship held in Germany in 2009. She won another gold in junior internationals in the same year.