While the Indian contingent is preparing for their acid test at the Rio Olympics that will kickstart in less than three-week’s time, 15-years-old Maneesha Keer has already begun to prepare herself for the 2020 Olympics. She aspires to win gold for India.
Coming from a humble background of Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh, three years ago, Maneesha would accompany her father Kailash and sell fish in local markets to earn a living. But she was always fascinated with rifles and shootings.
Maneesha’s elder sister took her to Madhya Pradesh Shooting Academy, for shotgun trials, where Maneesha’s brilliant talent was spotted by former Olympian Mansher Singh. Thus begun her journey. In three years, she has participated in three national and two international events and has already bagged 10 gold medals. In just one year, Maneesha got an international berth at the Under-16 Shooting World Cup in Italy.
In May 2016, Maneesha bagged gold at the Junior Shotgun Cup in Finland. It was only her second tournament abroad. The Madhya Pradesh government has awarded her with a cash prize of Rs 2 lakh.
Now, Manessha is preparing hard for her third international stint in Italy. Her coach Mansher Singh believes the only drawback for Maneesha can be her irregular diet, she has to gain enough strength to hold the rifle straight.
India has produced some great women shooters like Anjali Bhagwat and Apurvi Chandela to represent the country at the Olympics. We hope that Maneesha can also join the brigade in the coming years and bring pride to the country.