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Updated January 24th, 2024 at 16:05 IST

KIYG 2023: Wrestling’s loss is shooting’s gain as Suruchi Phogat grabs mixed team gold in 10m pistol

Suruchi teamed up with Samrat Rana to clinch the 10m Air Pistol Mixed Team gold in the Khelo India Youth Games 2023 at the Guru Nanak College Shooting range.

Suruchi Phogat flanked by her father Inder (left) and coach Suresh Singh after winning the gold medal at Guru Nanak College in Chennai
Suruchi Phogat flanked by her father Inder (left) and coach Suresh Singh after winning the gold medal at Guru Nanak College in Chennai | Image:KIYG
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Even before Suruchi Phogat was born, her father Inder Singh had decided that he would make his daughter a wrestler and follow in the footsteps of the famous Phogat sisters, though they are not related in any way.

But destiny had some other plans for her. A collar bone injury put her out of wrestling and this Phogat decided to try her hand at shooting.

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On Tuesday, Suruchi teamed up with Samrat Rana to clinch the 10m Air Pistol Mixed Team gold in the 6th Khelo India Youth Games 2023 at the Guru Nanak College Shooting range.

“She is born to play sports. Although I wanted her to become a wrestler, she ended up at the shooting range. I like shooting because I am a retired serviceman and can also help her with the sport,” said an elated Inder.

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Suruchi starting shooting at the age of 13 and is being trained at the Guru Dronacharya Academy in Bhiwani under coach Suresh Singh.

In the last edition of the Khelo India Youth Games in Madhya Pradesh, Suruchi had bagged a silver medal in the same event and has shown tremendous improvement since then.

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She won the silver medal in women’s 10m air pistol team event at the 2023 Suhl Junior World Cup and bronze in 10m air pistol mixed team. She also won silver at the 2023 Asian Championships in Korea.

But now she is not satisfied with just one gold in Chennai. “Now the bigger test lies in the individual event on January 25. I did not win a medal in the last edition. I didn’t even qualify for the final. This edition I don’t want to return empty-handed,” she said.

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Published January 24th, 2024 at 16:05 IST

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