Himachal's Zeena Khitta clinches 10m air rifle gold at KIYG

Himachal's Zeena Khitta clinches 10m air rifle gold at KIYG
Himachal's Zeena Khitta clinches 10m air rifle gold at KIYG

Guwahati, January 15 (IANS): Zeena Khitta continued her good form in the 10m air rifle event as she clinched gold at the Khelo India Youth Games with a score of 251.3 in Guwahati. Punjab's Jasmeen Kaur and Sift Kaur bagged the silver and bronze medals respectively. Khitta has backed up her excellent performance at the Nationals, where she defeated star shooters Mehuli Ghosh and Apurvi Chandela.

"I am feeling great. I am very proud of myself. Everything is going right for me at the moment. The training, hard work, everything is falling into place. We have trials for the Indian team this month. I will be focusing on that now," said Khitta after the event on Tuesday.

The 18-year-old, who hails from Rohru, dreams of becoming the first Indian woman to win an Olympic gold medal.

"My biggest dream is to become the first Indian woman to win a gold in the Olympics. For this year, I am aiming to participate in the senior ISSF World Cups and win gold in those tournaments. I have played only Junior World Cups so far. I will be trying to book a berth in the Indian Olympic shooting team this year," said the shooter.

With little idea about the sport of shooting, bronze medallist Sift had decided to take up trap shooting before moving to the 10m air rifle event.

"I started practicing shooting in 2015. My father's friend's son, who is a Trap shooter, asked me to start shooting. At that time, I didn't know about any other event, I thought I'll take up Trap. But, when I went for an open district tournament, I saw participants at the 10m air rifle event. Then I took up 10m air rifle and started enjoying the event. I won my first medal (gold) in an invitational tournament in Jalandhar," said Sift.

She has her plans in place as far as the shooting tournaments are concerned, but she is hoping that she performs well in her 12th class board exams as well.

"My next aim is the India shooting team trials. I really want to go for an international tournament this year. And I have my 12th boards as well. So, hopefully, the exams go well. I want to be well-settled in life before going for an Olympic medal," said Sift.