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Paralympics 2020: Rubina Francis breaks world record to secure Tokyo spot

Rubina Francis winning gold
Rubina Francis winning gold
Abhinav Tyagi
CONTRIBUTOR

India's highest-ranked female para-shooter Rubina Francis has secured a quota for the Tokyo Paralympics after clinching gold at Peru's World Shooters Para-Sports Championship.

The 21-year-old defeated Bigaisha Makhayeva of Kazakhstan on 15th June 2020. The event was a part of qualification for the Paralympics 2020 which is to be held from 24th August to 5th September 2021.

Rubina hails from Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh and competes in 10m air pistol events. She was in Lima, Peru for the Para World Cup where she won gold and in the process, created a world record in her name.

Rubina scored a total of 238.1 points in the event and surpassed the previous world record of 237.1 points held by Turkey's Aysegul Pehlivanlar.

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It was the fifth and last world championship for Rubina to qualify as she had fallen short in the previous four World Cups. Not only did she win the gold, which automatically guarantees her berth but also surpassed the minimum qualification score (MQS) of 500 points required. She achieved 555 out of a possible 600 which puts her in 5th position pointwise.

Rubina Francis Story, Struggle, Success And Gold

Rubina Francis shooting
Rubina Francis shooting

Rubina was born with a disability in her leg and took up shooting when she was 16 years old. She owes her credit to Olympic medalist shooter Gagan Narang and his academy 'Gun For Glory'.

Rubina joined Gun for Glory after they visited her school to promote the academy and it was then when she found her interest in this sport. She was selected and with support from parents she rose through the ranks under the guidance of coaches Nishant Nathwani and Jaspal Rana.

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The ace shooter started performing extremely well at the nationals and played her first international tournament in 2017. That same year she set a junior world record in the 10m pistol women's team event at the World Shooting Para-Sports Championships in Bangkok.

She went on to win bronze at the World Shooting Para Sports World Cup in Croatia. To date, Rubina has 15 international medals to her name.

After achieving international success, she is now aiming for a great performance at the Tokyo Paralympics. However, prior to the World Cup in Peru, she had tested positive for COVID-19. After recovering she was left with 5 days to practice. The tide of fortune soon changed when she grabbed the gold and ticket to Tokyo.

Rubina has a lot of admiration for the state and MP academy of shooting, which she joined in 2017.

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Edited by Diptanil Roy
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