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Aimed for the stars, landed on the moon

 Sidhartha Babu, a paraplegic shooter from Thiruvananthapuram, has come through with flying colours in the national para shooting selection trials held in New Delhi.

Published: 06th February 2021 12:33 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th February 2021 12:33 AM   |  A+A-

Sidhartha Babu, a paraplegic shooter from Thiruvananthapuram.

Sidhartha Babu, a paraplegic shooter from Thiruvananthapuram.

Express News Service

KOCHI: Sidhartha Babu, a paraplegic shooter from Thiruvananthapuram, has come through with flying colours in the national para shooting selection trials held in New Delhi. Topping the trials in the 50-metre prone rifle event, he has booked a berth in the World Shooting Para Sport World Cup slated to be held in Al Ain, UAE, from March 15 to 26. 

The unprecedented challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdown could not deter him from giving his best. “This is the first competition after the lockdown. I’m happy that I finished first in both the trials despite the huge break,” said Sidhartha.

A self-taught shooter, he had won a quota place to compete in the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo, which was postponed because of the pandemic. “I’m thrilled because I replicated my performance in the 2019 World Shooting Para Sport Championships in Sydney after a gap of 11 months,” he said.

Para shooting being an outdoor event, it was a challenge for Sidhartha to continue his practice during the lockdown. “With all shooting ranges shut, the lockdown restrictions made practice impossible. But that didn’t dissuade me and I set up an indoor shooting range at home. I moved to a secluded place at Vithura to continue with my training. Setting up the shooting range and moving to a new place were a daunting task as I did it all on my own,” he said. 

The extended break from competition helped him focus on sharpening his skills. “The lockdown was a very fruitful time. During training, I beat my personal best at least three times,” he said.Sidhartha also took part in a virtual shooting championship organised by German organisation MEC under the supervision of Heinz Reinkemeier, who coached Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra. 

“I managed to set a new personal best in that competition too. It’s all about how we decide to survive a difficult situation,” he said.In 2002, Sidhartha had met with a motor accident which left him paralysed from waist down. But he decided to take the fight head on to excel in academics and shooting.



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