Zeena, the ‘warrior princess’ from Rohru : The Tribune India

Join Whatsapp Channel

Zeena, the ‘warrior princess’ from Rohru

CHANDIGARH: She draws her name from the warrior princess Xena, who uses her fighting skills and strength to defend the weak. So when the 16-year-old Zeena Khitta took aim during the ISSF Junior World Cup in Sydney recently, she had just one thing in mind — justify the faith that her parents, coaches and friends had reposed in her ability.

Zeena, the ‘warrior princess’ from Rohru

Zeena Khitta (right) with Elavenil Valarivan (centre) and Shreya Agrawal during the victory ceremony for the 10m air rifle team event in the ISSF Junior World Cup in Sydney. ISSF



 Sunny Kaul

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1

She draws her name from the warrior princess Xena, who uses her fighting skills and strength to defend the weak. So when the 16-year-old Zeena Khitta took aim during the ISSF Junior World Cup in Sydney recently, she had just one thing in mind — justify the faith that her parents, coaches and friends had reposed in her ability. And the budding shooter from Rohru in Himachal Pradesh did not disappoint.

Competing in her first international event, Zeena hit a total of 623.1 to help her team win the 10m air rifle gold. “It was a team gold and a junior record,” an elated Zeena said.

Zeena, Elavenil Valarivan and Shreya Agrawal amassed 1876.5 points to beat the Chinese Taipei trio of Ying-Shin Lin, Yi-Ting Tsai and Chien-Ching Hung, who scored a combined total of 1869.2. China’s Yingjie Zhu Zeru Wang and Mingwei Gao finished third at 1868.3.   

“It was the happiest moment for me,” said Zeena, who rose to prominence when, representing Chandigarh, she won a gold medal in the Khelo India School Games earlier this year. 

“Yes, there were some nervous moments out there, but it is a part of the game,” said the youngster about her Sydney feat. “Going into the tournament I had just one thing in my mind — God has given me this opportunity and I should make the best of it,” said the ‘warrior princess’, who trains under Virender Singh Banshtu. “I was thinking, ‘it all happened with my hard work, my coach’s hard work, the support from my parents, friends and family… and I need to do justice with all of them’.”  

Average student

Zeena by her own admission was not that good in studies and took to shooting three years back on the insistence of her parents and Aradhana Public School principal.

“The principal at my previous school opened a shooting academy and he along with my parents insisted that I should try my hand at shooting…They told me ‘you are not that good in studies, so what is the harm in trying out your luck in shooting’,” she laughed. 

“No, it is actually true. I was not that good in studies. I would just consider myself an average student. So my parents told me to try my hand at shooting. They said that even if I did not like it, there would be no problem. So this is how I got into the sport. But once I started, I liked it and the rest is history,” said Zeena, who is now studying Humanities at DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 8. “I shifted to Chandigarh last year. Normally, I stay at home and it’s only during examinations that I travel to Chandigarh,” she added.

Early exposure

Zeena said it was a great experience to be a part of the World Cup at such a young age and it would only make her a better shooter in the future. “It was a learning experience to see shooters from different countries participating in the event,” she said. “It was a big tournament, tough competition and some great scores… Every competition helps you a lot, and if you are competing, you get to learn so many things. You also overcome your fears. And once you are a part of such a big event it is always helpful going ahead. Now, I will be much more relaxed in the coming events.”

Talking about the competition, the shooter said: “All the players out there were trying to give their best. It was really encouraging to see all of them in action. Probably, when I was competing I did not enjoy that much as I enjoyed other players competing. It is a great feeling to sit behind a player and see her take the aim. It also gives you an opportunity to learn.”

Journey so far

Asked about her early days in shooting and the time she spent mastering her skills, Zeena said: “It has been a mixed journey so far. I had some good moments, like Khelo India, which helped me a lot.”

“Ups and downs are a part and parcel of sports. It is not like if you are doing well now, you will continue your form even in the near future. There were some difficulties, but the support of my coaches and my parents helped me overcome them,” said Zeena.

Top News

Indian elections victory for democratic world: PM at G7

Indian elections victory for democratic world: PM Modi at G7

Bats for ending tech monopoly, cites its use in biggest poll...

Modi and Meloni review progress of India-Italy strategic partnership

PM Modi and Meloni review progress of India-Italy strategic partnership

Discuss India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor

Terror on rise, 50,000 CAPF men head to J&K

Terror on rise, 50,000 CAPF men head to Jammu and Kashmir

Decision before PM’s June 21 visit | Assets of terror sympat...

Lord Ram didn’t let ‘arrogant’ BJP secure majority: Indresh

Lord Ram didn’t let ‘arrogant’ BJP secure majority: RSS leader Indresh Kumar

Not Sangh view, ties with party same as before: RSS


Cities

View All