PUNE: “The love and appreciation showered upon me is unprecedented,” said Anisa Sayyed, who won the gold medal in both the 25m pistol (singles) and 25m pistol pairs events at the CWG.Anisa, 30, was feted here by Maharashtra Cosmopolitan Education Society. Before her felicitation, a rally from Kohinoor Square to Azam Campus was organised. It was 12 years ago at the same campus that Anisa took her first steps towards her golden journey.”I still remember it like yesterday,” said Anisa, who was a ticket-checker with the Indian Railways at Vile Parle station in Mumbai. “Gani Shaikh sir was delivering a lecture on shooting. I somehow garnered the courage to walk up to him and requested him to teach me shooting. Since then I have been hooked.”Hailing from a middle-class family and living in the police quarters at Range Hills, Anisa regularly walked a kilometre to Khadki railway station to catch a bus or at times even cycled her way to reach Shaikh’s house in Wanowrie. “My family has been my pillar of strength. Even after marriage my husband (Mubarak Khan) and my in-laws have been extremely supportive. In a way, they have made life easier for me.”Anisa, though, was quick to point out that her journey wasn’t all smooth sailing. ” Shooting is an expensive sport. One has to run from pillar to post in order to obtain finances,” said Anisa. “I had to struggle hard to get sponsors.” Anisa also had to practice at an open range, unlike the indoor one at the Karni Singh range in New Delhi, where she captured her CWG gold.
“The precision that I have acquired over the years perhaps is a gift of the adversities that I have faced at the range,” she said. When practising at the range one has to develop an innate ability to block out distractions and that’s what happened with me. When I set my eyes on the target I am immune to the surroundings.” – Timesofindia