Name: Mehuli Ghosh
Event: Shooting (10 m Air Rifle)
Commonwealth Games appearance: Debut
Biggest win: Two Bronze medals at ISSF World Cup 2018 (Mexico)
At a young age of 17, when Mehuli Ghosh makes her debut in Commonwealth Games at Gold coast, she will be carrying expectations of the entire nation of grabbing a podium finish in the tournament. The shooter, who will compete in 10m Air Rifle category at the CWG, proved that she has been in terrific form after she went on to win eight gold medals at the 61st National Shooting Championship Competitions in New Delhi in December last year.
Ghosh, who hails from Baidyabati, a small town around 30 km from Kolkata, had a rough start to her career. She first picked interest in the sport at the young age of 12, but had to convince her parents of modest means to invest money. At the age of 13, her father, who worked as a temporary employee with the West Bengal government, saved money to enroll her in Serampore Rifle Club. But things did not work out for Mehuli as just a year later, she was suspended after one of her pellets went on to hit a spectator.
At the age of 14, the trauma of the incident was too much for her to bear, and she went into depression. She was supported by her parents, who reportedly took her to psychological counselling, to re-build her morale. She was later enrolled in former Olympian Joydeep Karmakar’s shooting academy in Kolkata, 40 m away from her home. Mehuli had to travel four hours everyday for practice.
Her hardwork bore fruits as she went on to win two medals in the Nationals in 2016, and then won eight medals in 2017. Her first international medal came in Japan when she won a gold in the youth category of the Asian Airgun Championships in Japan.
She continued her form in 2018 and went on to finish third in the 10m Air Rifle at the ISSF World Cup in Mexico. She also paired up with Deepak Kumar in the mixed team event to secure her second bronze in the tournament.
As part of India’s 27-member contingent in shooting at the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Mehuli Ghosh will look to earn another podium finish to continue her brilliant form.