Young Greater Noida shooter hopes to bring laurels from Germany

Shooter Shreya Saksena will be taking part in the Junior World Cup ISSF Shooting Championship in Germany

noida Updated: Jun 20, 2017 23:15 IST
Vaibhav Jha
Vaibhav Jha
Hindustan Times
greater noida,greater noida news,shooting
Shreya Saksena (holding a rifle) with her family in Greater Noida.(Sunil Ghosh/HT Photo)

In the next five days, 20-year-old Shreya Saksena, an ace shooter from Greater Noida, will be rubbing shoulders with formidable opponents from China, Germany, Austria, France and other nations at the Junior World Cup ISSF Shooting Championship in Suhl, Germany.

The Greater Noida resident will be a part of a 35-strong contingent from India to travel to Germany on Wednesday to attend the International Shooting Sport Federation tournament to be held from June 25-29.

The 20-year-old shifted to Greater Noida from Jammu two years ago with her parents and younger sister Saumya, also a budding shooter. Born an army man’s daughter, she had always been active in sports and had participated in three national basketball events in her high school. In 2012, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, himself an Olympic medal winner in shooting and now a Union minister, advised her to take up shooting. Rathore is also an NDA batch mate of her father Colonel Anurag Saksena.

“He advised me to move to individual sports so that I can perform well and win laurels for my country. He asked me to take up shooting and I did. He even gifted me my first rifle,” said Shreya.

From 2013, she started rigorous training for 10 metre and 50 metre rifle shooting events. Her challenges include shooting with a .22 Grunig Elmiger Rifle that weighs six kg, wearing an equally heavy suit.

However, the efforts paid off and she won gold medals in state and zonal championships. At the mere age of 20, Shreya has already represented India in the ‘Shooting Hopes’ tournament in 2017 at Plzen, Czech Republic.

Speaking about the upcoming championship, she said, “I am going to participate in the ‘50 metres 3 positions’ event where I have to fire 60 shots in an hour and 45 minutes in three different stances holding the rifle. After 20 shots, we get 200 seconds to change our stance, adjust our suit and aim for the shot. Also, in this tournament, large speakers playing heavy rock music will reverberate the podium on participants stand and aim.”

“The federation has included this change to make the tournament more competitive. We have been preparing at the National Academy with heavy speakers, but we still can’t guess what intensity the music will be played at. The key is to not lose focus and do your job,” she added.

Whatever Shreya has achieved today would not be possible without her parents, Colonel Saksena and Sumita Saksena. “Shooting is an expensive sport, but once I saw the talent in my daughters, nothing could stop me from providing for them in the best possible manner,” said Colonel Saksena.

“Shooting requires discipline and a strenuous schedule including meditation, exercise and dietary plan. However, I never forced them to do anything they didn’t like,” he added.

First Published: Jun 20, 2017 23:15 IST