At 15, Bengaluru shooter Tilottama Sen has become the youngest Indian to secure a quota for the Olympics next year.
Tilottama finished on the podium at the Asian Shooting Championship at Changwon, South Korea, winning silver medal in the 10m air rifle event to become eligible for the Paris Olympics.
“I loved karate and volleyball as a child. When the Covid-19 lockdown happened, most of my time was spent watching cartoons like Chota Bheem. My father (Sujit Sen) put me into shooting at a nearby academy in Bengaluru and that’s how my love for shooting began,” she said.
“Once I got the hang of the rifle and jacket, it was all about keeping things simple at the range and that’s what I tried today. To win the quota for India in a very competitive 10m air rifle event is the icing on the cake,” she added.
Originally hailing from Dimapur in Nagaland, Tilottama was only a few months old when Abhinav Bindra won the Gold at 2008 Beijing Olympics. During her training days,the young girl used to see Bindra’s shooting videos to hone her skills. Bindra made his debut in 2000 Sydney Olympics when he was 17.
On her achievement, Bindra expressed happiness that he was an inspiration for someone to propel her into the Olympics.
However, Sen will now have to clear the selection criteria set by NRAI (National Rifle Association of India), to finally make it to the Games. If she finally reaches Paris, Tilottama will be the third youngest Indian to participate in an Olympics after Arati Saha (12) and PT Usha (16).
Also Read: Prevent Stroke By Making Lifestyle Changes