Mairaj Ahmad Khan is an Indian shooter born on 2nd November 1975. He hails from Khurja village of Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr district. Mairaj specializes in shotgun skeet shooting and represents India internationally in this discipline.
Mairaj Ahmad Khan - Early Life, Family & Background
Mairaj Ahmad Khan was born to Ilyas Ahmad Khan and Farukhi Khan. He belongs to a wealthy Sunni Muslim family of landlords residing in Khurja. His father, Ilyas Ahmad, was a state-level trap shooter.
Mairaj Ahmad was introduced to shooting by his uncle as soon as he completed college in 1998. He began to take interest in shooting and decided to pursue the sport seriously. Mairaj’s brother, Najam Ahmad Khan, is also a skeet shooter but didn’t pursue the sport as he was more interested in his family business than shooting. At the age of 24, he began to pursue shooting professionally.
Apart from shooting, he runs an NGO named MAK Shooting Foundation. As an athlete, Mairaj wanted to help and train budding shooters from India who are interested in taking skeet shooting. Through his foundation, he aims to produce more shooters who can represent India in skeet shooting at international events. He has published his autobiography called ‘Hard Target’.
Mairaj Ahmad Khan Biography
After Mairaj became a professional shooter, he took part in some of the senior national competitions before making international debut. He was being trained by national coach Sunny Thomas before he hired a personal coach Mr. Andre Benelli after progressing towards the international stage.
In 2007, Mairaj won a Gold medal at the National Shooting Championship in Delhi. He claimed the Gold medal again in 2009, 2010, and 2016 editions of the championship. Mairaj won his first international Gold medal and a Bronze medal in the skeet shooting team event and skeet shooting individual respectively at the 2008 Singapore Open Shooting Championship.
Mairaj won a Gold medal at 2009 All India Sardar Sajjan Sethi Master’s Shooting Championship, which he won again in 2012. In 2009, he won two Silver medals in skeet shooting individual and team at the South Asian Federation Shooting Championship in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Mairaj won a Gold and a Silver at the National Games held in 2011 and 2015, respectively.
Mairaj Ahmad Khan Achievements
Mairaj Ahmad Khan made his international debut for India at the 2003 ISSF World Cup held at Lonato in Italy. Between 2005 and 2015, Mairaj had participated in 15 ISSF World Cups held in 22 nations but didn’t win any medals.
In 2010, Mairaj won a Gold and Silver Medal in Skeet Shooting Individual and Skeet Shooting Pairs respectively at the Commonwealth Shooting Championships in New Delhi. At the 2012 Asian Airgun Championships, he won a Silver medal in Skeet Shooting Individual held in Malaysia. In September 2015, Mairaj booked his berth at the 2016 Rio Olympics after he won a Skeet Event held in Italy and became the first Indian shooter to qualify for the Olympics in a shotgun skeet event.
In 2016, Mairaj won a Bronze medal at the Asian Airgun Championships held in Abu Dhabi, UAE. In the same, after 13 years of international shooting, he broke into the limelight when he became the first Indian shooter to win a medal in skeet shooting at the ISSF World Cup after he won a Silver medal in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
In November 2019, Mairaj booked his Olympics berth at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics after he won a Silver medal at the Asian Shooting Championships. Mairaj will represent India in his second Olympics in the men’s skeet event. At the age of 45, he will be the oldest athlete to be a part of the Indian contingent at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.