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Kishmala Talat aims to be Pakistan’s first woman Olympic medalist

Amidst the quiet intensity of a target range in Jhelum, Pakistan, Kishmala Talat, 21, is forging her path to the Tokyo Olympics with steely determination. Born into a military family in Rawalpindi, Talat is set to become Pakistan’s first female Olympic shooter, challenging stereotypes and aiming to clinch a historic medal in the 10m air pistol and 25m pistol events.

Talat, who recently graduated with a degree in communications, has shattered barriers on her journey to Paris, where she will compete against the world’s best shooters. Reflecting on her journey, she remarked, “In Pakistan, there’s a prevalent taboo that dictates girls should stay at home and play with dolls, while boys handle guns. I see no one as competition. I compete with myself.”

Her achievements include numerous national and international medals, including Pakistan’s first-ever shooting bronze at the Asian Games. Despite facing formidable odds, Talat trains rigorously for 10 hours daily, focusing intensely on physical conditioning and refining her shooting precision.

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“I longed for recognition. I wanted to do more,” she emphasized. “I am dedicated to giving my best performance to let Pakistan’s name shine.”

Talat’s journey is emblematic of resilience and perseverance, nurtured under the guidance of Pakistan’s military in Jhelum, known as the “City of Martyrs.” Her mother, Major Samina Yaqoob, proudly supports her daughter’s ambitions, reflecting, “Girls should step forward, observe, work diligently, and their parents should support them.”

As Talat prepares to make history, her story resonates beyond sports, symbolizing the strength of determination and the pursuit of excellence against all odds.

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