Aiming for the stars: Hyderabad's young rifle shooter Mohammed Mariya Taneem

The country has increasingly been looking at sports outside of mainstream, popular ones, and rifle shooting has offered young enthusiasts one such platform.

Published: 18th October 2022 06:19 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th October 2022 03:46 PM   |  A+A-

Mohammed Mariya Taneem

Mohammed Mariya Taneem

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: The country has increasingly been looking at sports outside of mainstream, popular ones, and rifle shooting has offered young enthusiasts one such platform. Mohammed Mariya Taneem, a rifle shooting champion recently made the city proud with her big win at the 14th IPSC Girls Rifle Championship held in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. CE caught up with the prodigy who talks her heart out about her passion, future and more. For this 17-year-old, rifle shooting started with a passion to learn a sport which could keep her occupied during her vacation.

“It all started for fun three years ago when I wanted to do something productive during the holidays. After getting better at it during summer camp I began taking it seriously and trained harder — I then participated in state-level championships for which I received a gold medal and was selected to play at the national level. The recent win at the championship has motivated me even more,” she says. The road as a rifle shooter wasn’t the smoothest for the student of Hyderabad Public School.

“It was very challenging, given its nascent popularity too. Earlier, the only thing I had my eyes set on was my studies, but when I clinched gold at the state level, I fought all odds at getting better and continued to participate in various competitions like the Telangana Rifle Associations and national championships.” Mariya credits her parents as the biggest inspiration in life, “My parents encouraged and supported me from the day I picked up the sport at 14.

After taking up this sport, I crossed paths with several athletes who inspired me to be a go-getter always. But it’s the trials and selections for the Indian team selection that kept me going. I’ve got through two trials and hope to get through the rest as well.” The champion’s day is not like that of a regular shooter. “Apart from setting aside time for my studies, I practice for four hours every day. Sometimes, I spend almost six hours a day training, which includes some physical workout, meditation, visualisation and shooting,” she shares.

While she doesn’t follow a restrictive diet, she watches what she eats. “I follow proper food habits, I don’t eat too much junk. There’s no routine that I follow, when it comes to my food, I do try out some interesting ones occasionally,” she adds. Mariya is a firm believer in sports being an important part of people’s lives, especially children and teens.

She says, “I think every student must take up some or the other sport, doesn’t necessarily have to be about winning or losing. It teaches you so much, especially that anything possible if you’re passionate about it and work hard towards achieving the results you want to see.” The athlete hopes to participate in every competition that comes her way and wants to see herself acing rifle shooting and representing the country at the Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and Olympic championships someday.

India Matters


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