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Anisa climbs her way up to glory from a very humble beginning

Ace shooter’s rigorous training routine begins at nine in the morning and goes on till 5pm.

Andrew Amsan  New Delhi | 2nd Aug 2014

Anisa Sayyed won the silver medal in 25m Pistol category at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow | Photo: Abhishek Shukla

rom stitching pillow covers for a living and tutoring primary school students to winning the silver medal in the 25m Pistol event last week in Glasgow, 34-year-old international shooter Anisa Sayyed's journey in life has been an arduous one.

Anisa comes from a middle-class family in Khadki district of Pune. She and her four siblings had to live on the meagre income their father earned from his job as a worker at Telco.

"I have stitched pillow covers, applied mehendi at marriages, given tuition to children, all in order to help my family financially," said Anisa while speaking to The Sunday Guardian.

Anisa shot into limelight during the 2010 Commonwealth Games where she had won two back-to-back gold medals. At the Glasgow games however, she had to settle for a silver medal while her compatriot Rahi Sarnobat secured the gold. "I tried hard to get the best results and I'm happy with whatever I've got. But no athlete likes to win anything less than gold,"said Anisa who is backed by Anglian Medal Hunt a sports management company.

Anisa said her father Abdul Hameed always encouraged her to learn new things.

"There is so much to learn in the world, learn as much as you can, he would say," she recalled. Hameed, a former club-level footballer, serves as a great inspiration for his daughter Anisa.

But he probably stopped playing before marriage and for reasons unknown, he never mentioned about his football days to Anisa or her siblings.

"Once I discovered a trunk filled with the awards and certificates that my father had collected during his football days. Until then, I didn't have the faintest idea that he was once a professional footballer. My father never said a word about that part of his life to me," said Anisa.

But, after going through her father's laurels, Anisia says she felt she had to emulate her father and do well in sports. She tried her hand at javelin throw, discuss throw, kho-kho and volleyball. She has even represented her state kabbadi team and played football at the national level for five years.

It was in 2002 that Anisa first visited a shooting range to try her hand at the sport and instantly fell in love with it. She decided to concentrate on shooting from there on.

"In shooting there is nothing between you and target. You shoot and you see the results. I really like it," she said.

Anisa resigned from her job as a ticket-collector with the Western Railways in 2010 due to delays in a tranfer request made by her . Anisa now lives in Faridabad with her husband in their modest two-story house. Incidentally, it is the same area in which the couple struggled to pay their monthly rent.

Anisa credits her success to husband, Mubarak Khan who takes care of all the legal formalities while she keeps herself focused on honing her shooting skills.

"Due to my tournament schedules, I sometimes have stay away from home for 25 days in a month. My husband has no problem with it; he is very supportive and encouraging. He played cricket but could not achieve much success, and now he derives great joy from my achievements."

Describing about her rapport with Rahi Sarnobat and the other Indian competitors she said, "They are my good friends and I spend time with them in leisure activities."

But Anisa explained, as the day of the event reaches closer the interaction reduces and larger part of the time is spent on training.

Anisa's training routine begins at nine in the morning and continues till about 5pm at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range in Delhi. She also remains in contact with her mind trainer Satyabrata Dam who constantly guides and motivates her.

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