M.A. Zain-ul-Abedin challenged seasoned campaigners at the All India G.V. Mavlankar Shooting Championship in Yapral and finished third in the qualifying rounds

At age 12, most kids do not even prefer to be in the vicinity of any shooting range, leave alone compete. But the Class VI student from Nasr School (Gachibowli), M.A. Zain-ul-Abedin, not only challenged seasoned campaigners at the All India G.V. Mavlankar Shooting Championship in Yapral but even finished a remarkable third in the qualifying rounds.

In a way, this shooting prodigy has been into the sport since age 5 as his sisters – Nargis Fatima and Saba Fatima – are also national shooters in air pistol (10 m and 25 m).

Defying all odds as the big bore event is a totally different proposition given the heavy recoil and distance, Abedin threw enough hints of his immense talent in the 300-m big bore competition with a terrific score of 547\600; an effort which will see him compete for the medal on Saturday. This sub-junior national champion in the air pistol category was clearly the cynosure of all eyes at the Lake Line Ranges in Yapral on Friday.

It is an event where even seniors struggle to sustain their concentration as the competition is not only demanding but also implies handling the heavy recoil and distance, apart from firing 60 shots, says Viqar Ahmed Shafeeq, joint secretary, Rifle Association of Andhra Pradesh.

With his sisters and father, A.M. Hussain, constantly guiding him, Abedin is clearly looking for bigger things.

“I am pleased with my performance today. It was certainly not expected, but I was confident of putting up a good show,” said the shy shooter on Friday.

Thanks to the shooting ranges at home, Abedin has the liberty to just go out and keep improving his shooting prowess, taking time off from academics.

“The best part is that he is good in both academics and sport,” says a proud Hussain.

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