After handing over stunning defeat to Mehuli Ghosh and world no. 3 Apurvi Chandela at the National Shooting Championships in December, Zeena Khitta continued her purple patch by winning gold in the 10m air rifle event at the Khelo India Youth Games on January 14. She claimed the top spot on the podium with a score of 251.3, followed by Punjab's Jasmeen Kaur and Sift Kaur bagging silver and bronze respectively.
"I am feeling great. I am very proud of myself. Everything is going right for me at the moment,” said Kitta. “The training, hard work, everything is falling into place. We have trials for the Indian team this month. I will be focussing on that now," she added.
The 18-year-old has set an ambitious target to become the first Indian woman to shoot down gold in the Olympics. She now aims to participate in the senior ISSF World Cups and win golds for India. The shooter from Himachal Pradesh will also be trying to book a berth in the Indian Olympic shooting team this year.
Bronze medallist Sift Kaur scored 227.6 points to help Punjab, currently at 14th position, improve its tally. Sift started with the trap shooting in 2015 but later shifted to 10m air rifle after watching the participants at an open district tournament. She wants to perform well in her upcoming 12th board exams and then aim for India shooting team trials.
“So, hopefully, the exams go well. I want to be well-settled in life before going for an Olympic medal," said the 18-year-old.
Maharashtra is currently leading the medal tally with 28 gold after it won two gold on January 15 while Haryana is the close second with 23 gold. Uttar Pradesh and Delhi are in a tough fight to claim the top-three spot as both have won 17 gold but the former has currently advantage of one silver over Delhi. Interestingly, both teams have 48 medals in total since Delhi has one more bronze than Uttar Pradesh.