Picture by ISSF

Naamya Kapoor has potential to be a huge talent, feels uncle and Olympian Sanjeev Rajput 

The three-time Olympian speaks about her niece, Naamya, after she became the youngest Indian shooter to win an international medal.
By Samrat Chakraborty

Naamya Kapoor, at the tender age of 14, is already carrying forward the legacy of her family after clinching a gold medal in women's 25m pistol event at the Junior World Championships in Peru recently. The achievement also etched her name in history books as the youngest Indian shooter to win an international medal. Naamya hails from a family of shooters incidentally.

Her journey, only, started around four years back as she would follow her elder sister to the shooting range at the Guru Harkrishan Public School in New Delhi to observe her training. It got her, gradually, inclined towards the sport and she decided to give it a shot.

And it was Naamya's dedication and the constant support from her mother that helped her achieve early success, believes three-time Olympian and her uncle Sanjeev Rajput.

"Naamya's elder sister Khushi started shooting in her school days and then she joined her around three and half years back. She got into shooting following the footsteps of her sister," Rajput told Olympics.com.

"I think her mother (Gunjan) is also dedicated towards the development of their children and that has helped a lot," he added.

Naamya Kapoor (C) with Manu Bhaker (R) and Rhythm Sangwan (L)
Picture by ISSF

Moreover, the Commonwealth Games (CWG) gold medallist himself, has been a guiding light for her niece.

"She (Naamya Kapoor) had spoken to me before pursuing the field and I had guided her and gave a brief about the exposure that she will get. Even now, whenever she has some doubts, I advise her (problems) over the phone," Rajput said.

The sailor-turner-shooter, now wants her niece to be cautious in her approach and target the Senior National Championships after her double gold medal haul at the Junior World Championships.

Naamya was also a part of the women's 25m pistol team, along with Olympian Manu Bhaker and Rhythm Sangwan, which clinched a gold medal at the marquee junior championship.

"I think it is important to take steps carefully and in a reserved way from here on. She also needs proper guidance from a good coach to maintain her consistency and become an Olympic-level shooter," Rajput said.

"It is important to keep practicing. It will be important for her to perform at the Senior National Championships from here on," he added.

Rajput believes that the maturity shown by Naamya, at such a young age, will help her grow as a shooter and bodes well for the country who might well have a serious talent in their ranks.