Sports

Mother-daughter duo guns for glory beyond Meghalaya Games

Marbarisha M. Pdah (holding rifle) and her daughter Toiaibha (holding pistol) at the 5th Meghalaya Games in Tura.
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Toiaibha M. Pdah pushed her mother to take up shooting as a sport.

A bronze medal for her daughter at the 5th Meghalaya Games has now made Marbarisha M. Pdah’s target a podium finish at the next event in the State or beyond.

The mother-daughter duo did not set the shooting range on fire but they made up for their “not-so-good” show with their zeal at the six-day event inaugurated by President Droupadi Murmu on January 15.

The shooting event was among 23 disciplines of the Meghalaya Games organised at 16 venues in Tura, the second-largest city of the hill State.

Ms. Marbarisha and Ms. Toiaibha were among the 3,000 athletes who vied for medals. Both shooters participated in the senior women’s category – the former in the 10m and 50m air rifle events and the latter in the 10m and 25m air pistol events.

Ms. Toiaibha, 24, managed to win the bronze in the 10m air pistol while her 44-year-old mother missed a medal in both events by a whisker. “I will try to be closer to the centre of the target for a medal at the next event,” Ms. Marbarisha told The Hindu on Friday, January 19, from Tura.

The second-largest town of Meghalaya, Tura is about 220 km southwest of Guwahati.

Shared dreams

The organisers of the State games said the mother-daughter duo underlined the power of family bonds and the pursuit of shared dreams.

It all began when Ms. Toiaibha joined the National Cadet Corps in school, where she developed an interest in shooting. “My mother encouraged me to go for the NCC camps and motivated me to pursue my passion for shooting,” she said.

In 2016, Ms. Toiaibha received an invitation to join a shooting association in Shillong, her hometown. Her mother used to accompany her for practice at the shooting range of the paramilitary Assam Rifles in Shillong’s Happy Valley area.

“I could sense my mother was interested in shooting but was hesitant because she thought she was too old for it. But I convinced her to take up the air rifle,” Ms. Toiaiha said.

“She lit a fire within me and I realised it is never too late to follow your dreams. The Meghalaya Games presented us the perfect opportunity to display our skills together,” Ms. Marbarisha said.

The 5th Meghalaya Games was not the first event where Ms. Marbarisha participated. She competed in the fourth edition of the games in 2022, a year after she started training for the 10m air rifle.

Ms. Marbarisha became a member of the shooting association four years after Ms. Toiaibha did. The association has its shooting range now.

“It feels great to practice together, participate in major events together, and be each other’s cheerleader,” the mother said.

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