IN SCHOOL

Shooter Srisha makes a golden debut

Shooter Srisha makes a golden debut

She once walloped yellow balls (tennis) and danced to classical tunes. She even charmed audiences with her titillating voice. But, one fine morning, she hit the bull’s eye nine times out of 10 during an NCC practice session, and fell in love with shooting.

M. Srisha of Sree Saraswathi Vidhya Mandheer in Mettupalayam was extremely focused right from the start. Knowing that she had chosen a sport that had brought India its name and fame at the Olympic Games, she knew she had to be bang on target and chalked out her training schedules accordingly. The gruelling training coupled with her thirst to succeed was richly rewarded.

The 15-year-old class XI student walked away with three gold medals, in her maiden State championship at Madurai last week. She walked away with a triple gold by winning all the three categories — sub-junior, junior and women — under which she participated in the 10m open sight air rifle event.

One gold medal in fact created a new meet record. Srisha shot a 345 out of a possible 400 which went beyond the existing record in the junior category of 303. “I am happy that I made a good first impression. I got the medals that I wanted but I could have scored much better.” she said.

In fact, the little girl shot a 380 during the practice sessions in Madurai. An incredible effort for her age!

“Not many noticed it as they were all busy hitting the board. When I shot a 345, however they applauded my effort,” she added.

Srisha was fortunate that her school was the first in the city to set up an eight-lane 10m automatic rifle range. The school initially wanted to promote horse racing. However the then Commissioner of Police Sylendra Babu, came up with the idea of a shooting range. “We did not hesitate. Today, we are convinced that we made the right move,” said S. Mohandoss, Srisha’s father and Trustee of the school.

Srisha has already started preparing for her next meet – an all-India inter-school championship at Hyderabad in October.

“After this championship, I plan to switch to peep sight. The simple reason, it can take me up to the Olympics,” she said.

“We met people in different clubs and at different levels. They advised us to switch,” said Mohandoss. “It is not going to affect me. I am confident of doing well as I have some experience,” said Srisha, who thanked the Coimbatore Rifle Club and S.S Thatte, Commander and Officer in-charge of the Navy shooting squad for their valuable tips and guidance.

Srisha is confident of doing well at the State championship in Coimbatore next year. “I need about six months of solid training. If I am able to do that the rest will come easy.”

Both Mohandoss and Srisha’s mother Manimekalai Mohan understand that their young daughter needs tremendous support from them. And, they promise to do that. “We want her to reach greater heights and we will do anything to see her realize he dream,” they says.

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