Ayonika Paul, 23, had ended India’s more than a decade old wait for a medal in the women’s ISSF World Cups. With a bronze medal in 2014, Paul, had won India a medal in the 10 metre air rifle event after Anjali Bhagwat was the last woman to stand atop a podium. Now pursuing her Master’s degree in Electronics Engineering, Ayonika has been able to balance her education and her sport with impressive ability. She took up shooting when she was in class VIII and has since added a BE to her educational resume and plenty of medals to her sporting one. Paul hails from a sporting background with her father a Central Railways water polo coach. “Rifle shooting at Ruia College was one of the many things I did. Training for shooting was boring till I took part in my first competition. Something about the sport struck me, maybe the trigger movement. I reached the range early the next day to satisfy my curiosity about firing at the target. Then on, I was hooked,” she said on her early interest in the sport to The Hindu.
Career Highlights: Ayonika Paul won a silver medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and another silver to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympics in the qualifiers. She also won a bronze medal at the 2014 ISSF World Cup in Maribor.
Record: Ayonika will be participating in her first Olympics
Qualification: Ayonika Paul won a silver medal in 10m air rifle at the Asia Qualifying Competition to secure her Rio 2016 Olympics berth
Event: 10m Air Rifle women’s
Schedule: August 6