India currently have a number of brilliant shooters and they have been very impressive lately. The country also has some pretty exciting young prospects who have shown promise lately and can become big names in the future. One of those budding youngsters is Mehuli Ghosh.
Shooting has been a sport in which India has been doing exceptionally well for quite some time. Over the years there have been a number of shooters who have made the country proud by producing spectacular performances at major international tournaments that include the Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and the Olympics.
Early life and shooting days of Mehuli Ghosh
Mehuli Ghosh was born in 2001 at Baidyabati which is located in the Hooghly district of West Bengal. Ghosh became interested in shooting at the age of 12, but due to modest family income it was hard for her to get professional training.
However, her father managed enough money to enrol her at the Serampore Rifle Club in 2014 but Ghosh had no idea about what was in store for her. One day during practice, Ghosh accidentally hit an onlooker with a pellet fired from her bullet. She was subsequently suspended from the club.
Humiliated by her peers, Ghosh gradually went into depression. However, her parents supported her and persistently took her to psychological counselling in order to rebuild her morale.
How Mehuli Ghosh Progressed under Coach Joydeep Karmakar
In 2015, Mehuli Ghosh was enrolled in the academy of former Olympian Joydeep Karmakar. Ghosh began to excel under Karmakar and in 2016, she was chosen to play at the National Shooting Championships at Pune in December.
She performed brilliantly at the competition, winning 2 golds and 7 silvers. In the 2017 National Championships, Ghosh’s performances were even better. She bagged 8 gold medals and 3 bronze medals. She was subsequently named the best shooter of the tournament.
In 2017, she was the only Indian who played in a shooting tournament at Plzen and finished 7th. Later that year, she came 17th in the World Junior Shooting Championships held in Germany.
Mehuli Ghosh then won the gold medal at the Asian shooting Championships, which was held in Wako City, Japan with a score of 420.1. The gold medal secured her a berth in the 2018 Youth Olympics at Buenos Aires where she will be contesting in the 10m Air Pistol tournament.
Mehuli was a part of the Indian contingent that went to the 2018 ISSF World Cup in March. She clinched the bronze medal in the 10 metre air-rifle tournament which was held at Guadalajara with a total of score of 228.4 which unfortunately was way below the gold and silver medallists who scored 251.5 and 251 respectively. Her score was a junior world record though.
Mehuli Ghosh also took part in the 10m air rifle mixed team event alongside Deepak Kumar. The duo won the bronze medal.
Commonwealth Games Silver Medal for Mehuli Ghosh
Mehuli Ghosh was the third youngest Indian shooter in the 2018 Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast. Ghosh competed in the 10 m air rifle tournament.
In the qualifiers, Ghosh scored a total of 413.7 and qualified for the final in 5th position, while her compatriot Apurvi Chandela finished 1st with a score of 423.2.
In the final, Ghosh started off well by scoring 51.8 in the first round which was the highest out of the eight participants. By the end of the third round, she was 4th with a score of 122.3.
However, by the end of the next round, she was third behind Singapore’s Martina Veloso and Chandela. Ghosh was facing some stiff competition from Scotland’s Seonaid McIntosh to stay in the fray for a medal. The teenager had a wonderful 6th bout as she moved to 2nd place above Chandela.
After this round, Mehuli Ghosh was confirmed of a medal. With two more rounds to go, Ghosh was 3rd at 205 points while Chandela and Veloso were tied at 206 points each.
In the final round, Veloso’s score at the end of her final shot was 247.2 and Ghosh needed 10.9 to level with her. To the delight of many, she did shoot a 10.9 and the gold medal would be decided by a shoot-off.
However just after her final shot, Ghosh’s name was being displayed on the scoreboard which misled her in believing that she won the gold medal. She was smiling and waving at the cameras before the officials told her to take position for another shot. By then, the distraction was already caused for Ghosh.
In the shoot-off, Veloso scored 10.3 while Ghosh scored a 9.9 and had to settle for a silver. Even though a distraction caused the gold medal to slip away from her reach, her performance was lauded by many including her coach Joydeep Karmakar who stated that clinching a silver in one’s first Commonwealth Games was no mean feat.
Mehuli Ghosh has been doing pretty well for India for the time being and with time, she is bound to become better and more mature. With the Asian Games and the Youth Olympics coming up, Ghosh will be looking to perform strongly in both events.
Provided she keeps performing this way, Mehuli Ghosh could soon become a big name in Indian shooting.