KARACHI: In a historic achievement for Pakistan, Kishmala Talat, a 21-year-old shooting sensation, has clinched a silver medal in the Women’s 10-meter Air Pistol event at the Asian Shooting Championship in Jakarta, securing her place at the Paris 2024 Olympics, her coach Razi Ahmed Khan said on Tuesday.
Talat’s outstanding performance earned her a total score of 236.6 points, making her the first female shooter from Pakistan to qualify for the prestigious Olympic Games.
This accomplishment adds her name to the esteemed list of Pakistani shooters heading to Paris, alongside Gulfam Joseph and GM Bashir.
“No [Pakistani] girl had ever secured a direct quota to the Olympics in the shooting category, making this a huge and historic achievement,” Khan told Arab News, adding that to tap the potential of the 21-year-old athlete, the services of a foreign coach were also acquired.
“Her performance has been remarkable, especially considering that Kishmala is also a full-time university student,” he added.
Despite facing tough competition, Talat demonstrated her prowess in the sport by maintaining her composure throughout the competition. India’s Esha Singh claimed the gold with 243.1 points, while Rhythm Sangwan, another Indian shooter, secured the bronze with 214.5 points.
“Having previously won a bronze medal at the Asian Games last year and a silver at the 2019 South Asian Games, Kishmala Talat’s consistency and determination have propelled her to new heights in international shooting competitions,” Khan informed.
Talat’s qualification for the Paris Olympics also opens the door for her to compete in the 25-meter sports pistol event, should she be selected by the national federation for both categories in this quadrennial event.
This achievement is part of a broader effort to prepare Pakistani athletes for the Paris Olympics, with Talat being among the 12 athletes who received the prestigious International Olympic Committee Scholarship in 2022.
Pakistan’s javelin star Arshad Nadeem was the first local athlete to secure a spot in Paris, claiming a silver medal at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest last year.
Nadeem, a national icon after winning gold at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, aims to continue his success at the Olympics, fostering a friendly rivalry with India’s Neeraj Chopra, who secured gold at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.