22-year old Indian shooter overcomes club foot to beat Olympic Gold medalist

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FIle photo of 10m air rifle event


22-year old Indian shooter overcomes club foot to beat Olympic Gold medalist

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SportsCafe Desk


Vinita Bhardwaj overcame several odds to win the gold in the women's 10m air rifle event at the World University Shooting Championship in Poland. She defeated World No.1 Yi Siling of China despite being forced to take injections to reduce her pain, which was caused due to her swollen club foot.

Vinita Bhardwaj, who is a BA final year psychology student of DAV College, Chandigarh, has undergone four surgeries on her right foot in the last eight years. The cold weather in Poland worsened her condition to such an extent that she had to take injections just to be able to stand during the event. However, despite such humongous odds, the 22-year-old shot a score of 206.0 in the final to beat the current World No.1 Yi Siling to the gold medal. Siling, who had won a gold medal in the 2012 London Olympics and is also the 2016 Rio Olympics bronze medallist, shot a score of 205.6 to take the bronze medal.

"This medal has ended all the pain. I am standing with pride on the podium," Vinita said after her triumph, reported TOI.

Vinita had earlier faced rejection from the Mission Olympics Programme of the Indian Army because of her medical condition. However, she did not give up on her dreams and continued to participate in various international events across the world.

"Participating in international meets like the Shooting Hopes Championship and Junior World Cup in Germany in 2011boosted my confidence. I also learnt to adjust to different weather conditions," Vinita said.

Vinita also helped India win a gold medal in the 10m air rifle team event alongside Simrat Chahal and Dilreen Gill. India finished the event with a tally of 5 gold medals, 2 silver medals, and 3 bronze medals.

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