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The Indian shooter is ready to clinch a medal for her country.

Rubina Francis qualified for the Tokyo Paralympics after winning gold at the World Shooting Para Sport Cup in Peru. The 22-year-old took the world by storm after breaking the world record in 10m Air Pistol by shooting 238.1 points. Doing so, she surpassed the previous record set by Turkey’s Aysegul Pehlivanlar. 

Khel Now caught up with Rubina for an exclusive conversation. She spoke about the winning moment in Peru, challenges faced in her journey and preparations for the Tokyo Paralympics

Breaking the World Record was a surprise

When asked about her performance at the Para Sport Cup, she remembered the winning moments very fondly. Rubina Francis remarked, “I did not realize the victory until my coach embraced me after the competition.”

“During the competition, I was aware of the announcement of the points and ranking table. However, I found it very normal until the end. My only focus was on the performance. I wanted to do better, without even realizing that I broke the world record in the competition.” 

Infact, she mentioned that breaking the world record was something that she did not expect, especially after facing a lot of challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rubina Francis said, “The pandemic had led to a cessation of sporting activities. This had drastically affected my training. I entered the Para Sport Cup with very little training due to the COVID-19. Eventually, I was very shocked after winning the title.”

Struggle with pandemic

She also extensively explained the challenges she faced due to the pandemic. Rubina Francis said that after eight long months of preparations for the mega event, the lockdown was imposed which affected her training intensely. 

Rubina is ready to roar at the Tokyo Paralympics (Courtesy- The bridge)

The shooter recalled, “I was taken aback after testing positive for the COVID-19. It cost me one full month of no training. However, my coach supported her with mental and physical training during these tough times.” 

Role of parents & coach 

Parents and coaches play a very important role in a sportsperson’s career. Likewise, Rubina spoke about the role her parents and coach played which helped her to reach the peak of her career.

She stated, “It was my parents that guided me to take up shooting as a career and supported me throughout the journey.”

Rubina Francis heartily acknowledged the efforts and guidance of her coach Subhash Rana, that helped her book a berth at the prestigious event. At the Para Sport Cup in Peru, she said that it was her coach who displayed confidence in her and guided her at every stage, which helped her clinch the title. 

Moreover, the shooter also mentioned that her coach’s support and confidence in her is her main source of motivation to perform her best at the Tokyo Games. She is also being supported by the Welspun Super Sport Women Program.

Feeling confident for Tokyo Paralympics

After breaking the world record and winning the 10m Air Rifle title, Rubina is all set to enter into her maiden Paralympics. She said that winning the title has given her a lot of confidence to perform well at the mega event. However, her sole focus is on performing better and not on the outcome of the competition. 

When asked about facing any nervousness for the event, Rubina Francis stated, “Having your country’s name behind your back is a huge responsibility and I want to perform my best for the country.”

Born with a disability in her leg, the Indian shooter began her professional career in shooting in 2015. In no time, the youngster has qualified for the Paralympics and the world awaits to see what she brings to the table at the Tokyo Games. Moreover, the country will expect a strong performance from the shooter after her recent stint in Peru. 

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