For Manisha Keer, setting the records on the global stage matters everything. Hailing from Bhopal, the 19-year-old became the first Indian woman to win a silver in the junior shotgun event at the ongoing ISSF (International Shooting SportFederation) Shooting World Championship in South Korea.
At the competitive event, Manisha pocketed 41 points to her credit and equalled the junior world record for women. She did India proud by showcasing sheer excellence. Until she was 12 years old, her daily schedule was to accompany her father, Kailash Keer, a fisherman to Bhopal’s Upper Lake where both of them would fish, after which they take them to the local market for sale.
Growing up in economically backward sections of the area, life was never easy for Manisha and her family. They had to work beyond their imagination to make money for a living. Raising 7 kids was a tough challenge, shares Kailash, in an interview with The Times of India. He told the publication, “I have seven children, including four daughters. As a fisherman, I barely make enough to feed my family. Forget sports, it was not even possible to send my children to school.”
When he visited the Madhya Pradesh State Shooting Academy with her elder sister Soniya, it was well and truly a turning point for Manisha. They spent some quality time with shotgun trials at the academy.
As Manisha watched the trials, Olympian Mansher Singh came up to her and asked her to give it the best shot. With no prior experience in training, Manisha hit the target in her first attempt. The coach was impressed by Manisha’s determination. Since then, she worked hard in the training sessions.
“Manisha’s capacity to absorb what is taught and to use it in a match is amazing. Her rise in a short span of time has made everyone take note. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that she has attained greatness in the sport but she is definitely on the way,” Manisha’s coach Mansher Singh told India Today.
Kailash, who is extremely pleased with Manisha’s recent achievement, told The Times of India, “I don’t know the first thing about shooting. All I know is that she is bringing glory and she’s happy.”
Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore also showered praise on Manisha’s achievement in a tweet, “Our young shooting champions are making the country proud at ISSF Shooting World Championship in Changwon.”