Asian Games: Sift Kaur Samra, juggling between medicine and shooting
Indians on a roll at the range with four gold, silver each and five bronze medals so far – with two world records to boot
A haul of 13 medals after the first five days of the competition with four gold and two world records – the Indian shooters have been on a roll at the Fuyang Yinhu Sports Centre Shooting range in the Asian Games. Not surprising though, if one has been on their trail in recent years.
Only in the last week of August at the ISSF Shooting World Championship in Baku, India had finished with six gold and eight bronze medals to finish second to China in the medals tally. The young brigade had also sealed four Olympic berths, which included a certain Sift Kaur Samra, who had been creating waves in Hangzhou as well.
A 22-year-old MBBS student from Faridkot in Punjab, Samra nailed the Women’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions (3P) gold on Wednesday with a world record score of 469.6 in the final. This was the second world record by the Indians as on Monday, the trio of Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar, Rudrankksh Balasaheb Patil and Divyansh Singh Panwar shot to gold in the Men’s 10m Air Rifle Team gold with a combined total of 1893.7.
On Thursday, Arjun Cheema, Sarabjot Singh and Shiva Narwal kept up the gold rush when they clinched country’s fourth gold at the range with the Men’s 10m Air Pistol team competition. The trio shot a total of 1734 to pip the hosts by a point. Vietnam won bronze.
Earlier on Wednesday, the women’s team of Esha Singh, Manu Bhaker and Rhythm Sangwan won another team gold in 25m Pistol final.
Medicine or shooting?
But for her golden show along with a world record to boot, Samra’s challenges to pursue her sport would have possibly gone unnoticed by the media. Finding it difficult to juggle between her MBBS course at GGS Medical College in her hometown of Faridkot, Samra hopes her achievements may give her a leeway to continue with both.
“I am not able to manage shooting with MBBS. Before coming here, I requested my college to hold separate exams for me, but they refused. They insisted that I should repeat the first year,” Samra told The Times Of India.
It had been nothing short of a purple patch for Samra, who clinched two gold medals at the World University Games in Chengdu in early August. She also bagged two bronze medals in the last World Cup, but it was good enough for her to earn a ticket to Paris 2024.
Last year in the Junior World Cup, she won one gold medal, two and one bronze. In an interview, Samra had said she had planned on quitting shooting last year. However, in the National Championship in Bhopal, she shot a national record – an effort which changed her mind.
Published: 28 Sep 2023, 4:19 PM