She was a sportswomen since childhood, dabbling in basketball, water-polo, skating and swimming. But it was rifle shooing that eventually caught Ayonika Paul’s fancy, and ever since she made an impression by winning the gold at the International Junior Shooting Competition in Munich in 2008, she has represented India in many international tournaments.
The Mumbaikar is elated about her Olympic debut at Rio 2016. “I am happy about it and for me, I always love to play with a bit of pressure. Whatever preparations had to be done, are done, right now I am just polishing my techniques,” she recently stated about her preparations, as reported by The Hindu. Many are betting on her winning a medal, Olympian shooter Joydeep Karmakar in fact says, Ayonika could be the dark horse for India at the Olympics.
Here is a lowdown on the 23 year old Olympian:
- She shot to fame with her gold at the International Junior Shooting Competition in Munich. And since then there was not stopping her, as she went on to win multiple medals in Junior National Shooting Championships.
- At the Asian Junior Championshipsin Kuwait in 2011, Ayonika clinched a bronze medal, though she subsequently missed the Olympic Qualification by a whisker at the Asian Championships in Doha in 2012.
- 2014 was a great year for Ayonika. She shot her way to the final of 4 consecutive major tournaments, winning a medal in 2 of them. Silver medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Bronze medal at the 2014 ISSF World Cup in Maribor – and then, at the Shooting World Championships in Spain, Ayonika shot a world class score to top the qualification round but unfortunately in the final she finished 8th.
- Ayonika Paul then notched up the silver in women’s 10m air rifle at the Asia Olympic Qualifying Competition to secure her debut at Olympics 2016.
Like we said, many are hoping for a medal from this fiery youngster. Who do you favour? Tell us in the comment section below.
Feature Image Credit: dna