Indian shooter Mehuli Ghosh made history after winning gold at the women’s 10m air rifle event in the 13th South Asian Games held in Kathmandu on Tuesday. The 19-year-old's score was better than the world record.
However, her journey hasn't been completely rosy. Hailing from the small town of Baidyabati in West Bengal, Mehuli had to beg her parents of modest means to invest in her shooting career. After she finally convinced them to enroll her in Serampore Rifle Club at the age of 13, things took a tragic turn.
Just a year after joining the club, she was suspended after one of the pellets from her gun hit a spectator. This traumatic incident affected Mehuli deeply, and she became depressed. This is where the story takes an inspirational turn--her mother made painstaking efforts to make her who she is today. She first took her for counselling to help her deal with her trauma, and then made her join another shooting academy in Rajarhat, 40km away from her home.
Today, Mehuli is a confident sportsperson who has won several accolades for herself and the nation on the international levels. She is presently preparing for the 2020 Olympic games to be held in Tokyo, Japan.
In the 13th South Asian Games, Mehuli's score, which led her to gold, was 253.3 in the final, which is 0.4 more than the current world record of 252.9. Fun fact: The current world record is also held by an Indian--Apurvi Chandela.
Besides Mehuli, other Indian shooters also swept all the medals in the women’s 10m air rifle category--talk about girl power! Our shooters also won the team gold in the 10m air rifle event.
Unfortunately, Mehuli's feat will not be considered as a world record, as the South Asian Games’ results are not recognised by the international body (ISSF) for the purpose of records.
“As far as I understand, SAG results will not be recognised for record purposes. Only the results of World Cups, World Championships and quota events are considered for record purposes by the ISSF. Moreover, there will have to be an ISSF referee in an event if the results are to be considered for records,” a top NRAI official told a news agency.
Happy to sum up 2019 international season with a high note. It was not easy and at times frustrating to not be eligible for Finals inspite of shooting above final mark in 3 WCs &AsianCh. WC Final was a heart break as 2 shots took all away in final #SAG2019 ind🥇😊 next Mixed Team— Mehuli Ghosh (@GhoshMehuli) December 3, 2019
India's Shriyanka Sadangi bagged the silver medal with a score of 250.8, while Shreya Agrawal won the bronze after scoring 227.2 in a 1-2-3 podium finish by Indians.
In the past, Mehuli had won a 10m air rifle silver in the 2018 ISSF World Championships. She also won silver medals in the 2018 Commonwealth Games and Youth Olympics. We are so proud of our badass women shooters and hope they continue to win laurels for our country!
Featured Image: Twitter