A father’s death can be the most shattering event in a girl’s life. However, 22-year-old Sonia Sharma from Agra not only came to terms with losing her father, but also fulfilled his last wish by winning gold medal at the World Shooting Para Sport World Cup in Bangkok on November 10.

Sonia Sharma won the 10-metre air pistol event in the team category. Her team scored a total 1070 points, 22 points more than their nearest competitors

Sonia scored 357 in four rounds, while her teammates Pooja Agrawal of Delhi scored 358 and Rubina Francis of Bhopal scored 355.

Born with a deformity in her right hand, Sonia is the younger of two sisters. Her father worked in the irrigation department. He passed away in 2015, but left behind Rs 1.5 lakh to buy a pistol so that Sonia could practice shooting.

Sonia’s journey with shooting commenced during a summer camp in class XI when she came across the sport.

 

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“Finally I have fulfilled my father’s last wish.” – Sonia

Talking about her journey, Sonia told TOI, “Initially I used to borrow pistols from other players as we had to take care of my father’s medical expenses. But after his death, my mother Janak Sharma, bought an air pistol from the money which my father had left for me. In my endeavour, my family — especially brother-in-law Manik Sharma — supported me financially and mentally to complete the last wish of my father.”

Besides holding the eighth rank in the individual category, Sonia is the only shooter (in her category) from UP to participate in the World Cup twice

Sonia is now aspiring to win the national competition. She and her coach Vikrant Tomar will be felicitated by district magistrate Gaurav Dayal.

It is heartening to see Sonia transforming her setbacks as stepping stones to success, making her family and country proud.

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