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Silver glory for ace shooter

- Shreyasi dazzles in Glasgow Commonwealth Games

Patna, July 27: Shreyasi Singh has left a mark, literally, at Barry Buddon Shooting Centre in Glasgow on a sunny Sunday morning.

The markswoman’s silver in double trap is certainly the first Commonwealth Games shooting medal won by a girl with roots in Bihar.

The 22-year-old girl shot 92 points in the final — two short of England’s Charlotte Kerwood.

“But I could have been in for a gold medal shoot-off had I not missed target twice in the final round. The first round was just not that good but in the final round I could have done better and would have been in a gold medal shoot-off,” she told reporters with her mother by her side soon after the podium finish.

Of the 215-strong Indian contingent across various disciplines, the second largest ever, Shreyasi is the only sportsperson having roots in Bihar. She is the daughter of former Union minister, late Digvijay Singh, and former Banka MP Putul Kumari.

Elated at her success, Shreyasi’s elder sister Mansi Singh told The Telegraph over phone from New Delhi: “It is a proud moment for the entire country and Bihar as she is the first-ever shooter from the state to get a medal at Commonwealth Games.”

Mansi got the news about her sister’s success on Sunday evening. Shreyasi’s event was scheduled at 10am in Glasgow (2.30pm IST).

Mansi said: “It was around 5.10pm that my mother called me informing about Shreyasi winning the medal. Monday, too, will be a special day as she is going to participate in the single trap event and we are quite hopeful that she will perform well in the single trap event also.”

Mansi added that with the success of her sister, they will work towards strengthening Bihar Rifle Association. In the single trap shooting, the targets are thrown into the air at varied angles from a spring device called “trap”. In double trap, two targets are released at the same time, and the shooter has to fire one shot at each. The gun used is usually a double-barrel 12-gauge (bore) shotgun.

Calling it a moment of pride for Bihar, director-general of police P.K. Thakur, also the ex-officio president of Bihar Rifle Association, said: “It is a proud moment for the state. Bihar Rifle Association would convene a meeting soon where we will decide to felicitate the ace shooter.”

Sports organisations also praised Shreyasi’s achievement. Bihar Players’ Association president Mritunjay Tiwari said: “The success and achievement of Shreyasi will boost the morale of sportsperson in Bihar. The state has talent but lacks government support.”

Shooting has been legacy of Shreyasi’s family, which owns the Gidhaur estate in Jamui district. Shreyasi’s father Digvijay was president of National Rifle Association of India. Digvijay also represented the Banka Lok Sabha constituency. Her mother, Putul Kumari, also represented Banka after Digvijay’s death.