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Trailblazer Kishmala Talat targets historic medal at Paris Olympics


Pakistan’s first-ever Olympic markswoman, Kishmala Talat, is set to make history at the Paris Olympics next month. The 21-year-old is the first Pakistani woman to qualify for Olympic shooting and will compete in the 10m air pistol and 25m pistol events, aiming for glory abroad while challenging stereotypes at home.

Talat has won numerous medals at the national level and four internationally, including Pakistan’s first-ever shooting medal, a bronze, at the Asian Games last year. According to the International Shooting Sport Federation, she is ranked 37th globally in the 10m event and 41st in the 25m event.

Talat’s talent has been nurtured by Pakistan’s military, which, as the sixth-largest in the world, has a substantial budget allowing it to operate ski resorts, polo grounds, and mountaineering academies. She is trained by officers and a foreign coach at a military facility in Jhelum, known as the “City of Martyrs” for its strong ties to the armed forces.

She hails from Rawalpindi, the garrison city where Pakistan’s armed forces are headquartered.

“In Pakistan, there’s a prevalent taboo that dictates girls should stay at home, do girly things, and play with dolls, while boys are to play with guns,” she said. “I see no one as competition. I compete with myself,” she was quoted as saying in AFP.

It should be noted that Pakistan has won only 10 Olympic medals—all by men—and none since the 1992 Games.

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