Pakistan’s First Female Olympic Shooter Kishmala Talat Targets Historic Medal

Kishmala Talat Olympic shooter

Kishmala Talat, a 21-year-old from a military family, is breaking barriers as Pakistan’s first female Olympic shooter. At the Paris 2024 Olympics, starting on July 26, Talat will compete in the 10m air pistol and 25m pistol events, striving for a historic medal and challenging societal norms.

Women in Pakistan face cultural restrictions that often discourage them from sports, but Talat defies these norms. “In Pakistan, there’s a taboo that girls should stay at home and play with dolls, while boys play with guns,” she said. “I see no one as competition. I compete with myself,” Talat shared during practice in Jhelum.

Talat has already made her mark, winning numerous national medals and four international ones, including Pakistan’s first shooting medal, a bronze at the Asian Games last year. Despite Pakistan’s history of only 10 Olympic medals, all won by men and none since 1992, Talat remains determined.

With a global ranking of 37th in the 10m event and 41st in the 25m, Talat faces a challenging path to the podium. She trains rigorously, dedicating 10 hours daily to her sport, including physical exercise, range practice, and meditation.

“I am dedicated to giving my best performance to let Pakistan’s name shine,” Talat said. She practices with intense focus, using custom-fit glasses and a disciplined routine to perfect her aim.

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In Pakistan, where cricket dominates and sports suffer from underfunding, Talat’s journey is unique. Guns are prevalent, with an estimated 44 million held by civilians, the fourth highest globally.

Talat’s skills have been honed by military support in Jhelum, where she trains with officers and a foreign coach. Her mother, Samina Yaqoob, a major in the military nursing service, proudly supports her daughter’s ambitions, having once dreamed of competing herself.

“Girls should step forward, observe, work diligently, and their parents should support them,” Yaqoob said. “She believes she can do anything. That’s just who she is.”

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