Chandigarh: With national junior skeet title in bag, Patiala shooter Dhaliwal eyes more glory

Nitin Sharma
Asian Shotgun Championships, national junior skeet title, chandigarh news, indian express news

Last month, the 18-year-old youngster became the national junior champion in women’s skeet in the 63rd National Shooting Championship held at New Delhi and on Friday, the youngster also topped the selection trials held at Bhopal for the Indian team.

Four years ago when Patiala shooter Parinaaz Dhaliwal showed her interest in shooting and told her father Rattandeep Dhaliwal to get her a gun, the senior Dhaliwal got her daughter enrolled in trap shooting at the New Moti Bagh Range at Patiala.

The youngster found trap shooting a bit boring and opted for skeet shooting, something which she found more competitive and interesting. Last month, the 18-year-old youngster became the national junior champion in women’s skeet in the 63rd National Shooting Championship held at New Delhi and on Friday, the youngster also topped the selection trials held at Bhopal for the Indian team. Earlier this year, the youngster had also claimed the bronze medal in the individual skeet event in the Asian Shotgun Championships at Kazakhstan and the youngster is raring to make her spot in the senior team as a permanent one.

“When my father got me a trap gun and I shot during practice sessions at Patiala, I found trap shooting a bit boring and opted for skeet shooting. I found the idea to shoot targets from different stations more challenging and it always fascinated me. Last year, I had missed the gold medal in the junior category in the nationals and my aim was to become the national junior champion this year. Winning the national junior title in skeet has boosted my confidence a lot and it showed in my performance in the trials at Bhopal on Friday. After these trials, the second and third trials will be held next year and I want to cement my place in the Indian senior team,” shared Dhaliwal, while speaking with Chandigarh Newsline.

The youngster, whose father is an agriculturist in Patiala, started shooting in 2015 and won the silver medal each in the junior as well as the senior category in Punjab Shooting Championship the same year. In 2016, Dhaliwal was part of the Punjab junior team, which won the team gold in skeet event in nationals. In 2017, Dhaliwal won the bronze medal in the senior skeet event in the nationals, where she was also part of the silver-medal winning Punjab junior team. Last year, Dhaliwal claimed the silver medal in junior category in skeet event in nationals apart from being part of the Punjab junior and senior teams, which won the team gold.

The youngster also competed in the Junior World Cup in Germany, where she finished 13th in the individual event and was part of the bronze-medal winning Indian team. This year, Dhaliwal won the bronze medal in the individual event in Asian Shotgun Championships in Kazakhstan, where she finished behind two Chinese shooters.

“Competing in the Junior World Cup in Germany last year made me confident to shoot in different conditions and the experience helped me in Kazakhstan. Conditions were windy in Kazakhstan and shooting consistently was a challenge at the range. I shot a score of 112 in qualification, which was the third highest and it helped me continue my rhythm in the final. In the final, I shot 29 and winning my first individual medal was a special feeling for me,” added Dhaliwal, who is a currently studying in Mayo College, Ajmer.

Last month in the nationals, Dhaliwal missed the senior final by a whisker.

The youngster has been training under Norwegian coach 49-year-old Tore Brovold, a 2008 Olympics silver medallist, who also trains Asian champion Angad Vir Singh Bajwa, since the last three years.

Dhaliwal, who is also mentored by coach Amarjung Singh, also seeks tips from Bajwa, who had earned the 2020 Olympics quota for India last month.

“My role model is my coach Tore Brovold as he is an Olympic medallist. Training under him has made me learn a lot of things. Though, he has been busy training Angad since the last few months, I spent some time training under him at Patiala and Delhi earlier this year. Angad is like an elder brother to me and I often seek tips from him. At the nationals last month too, he was sharing his inputs and it helped me a lot,” Dhaliwal shared.