It’s a rare achievement by the Indian athletes to earn a name for themselves in a country which is predominantly influenced by the cricketers. Patiala born shooter Heena Sidhu is one such sportsperson who belongs to the elite category among the fans. Being touted as the world number 1 by the International Shooting Sport Federation, Sidhu has set her sights for earning fame for her country.
A student of Bachelors of Dentist Surgery, Sidhu took up shooting courtesy her uncle who was a gold smith and drew inspiration from her father Rajbir Sidhu, who himself was a National shooter and his brother Karanbir Singh, who has followed the footsteps of his father. Sidhu might attract inspiration from every quarters in her personnel life after she got married to Ronak Pandit, the third person with shooting as the profession from her family.
A right side dominated shooter, Sidhu leaped to the senior level from its predeceasing level quickly and in no time, she represented India in the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou. In the women’s 10 m Air Pistol team event, Sidhu along with her teammates Sonia Rai and Annu Rai Singh came so close to winning a Gold medal and settled with a silver. She also won the silver in the 10 m Air Pistol event in the 2009 ISSF World Cup.
Inspite of finishing twelfth in the 2012 London Olympics, Sidhu was part of the London Olympics Film. In 2013 in Munich, Germany, she lived her dream as she shot her way to a Gold Medal in the 10 m Air Pistol event in the ISSF World Cup Finals. She, thus became only the third Indian to achieve the feat after Anjali Bhagwat (2003, Milan) and Gagan Naarang (2008, Bangkok) Sidhu was declared the number one shooter in the circuit by the ISSF as a result of some fine and consistent performance in the Asian Air Gun Championship where she won Gold and a silver in the rifle/pistol World Cup in Fort Benning, United States of America.
With age on her side and the quality of talent she possess, this is just the beginning of an illustrious career that waits the Champion shooter from Patiala. Now the first priority of Heena Sidhu is to win a Gold for her country in the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and qualify for the 2016 Rio de Janerio Olympics.