At 27, Divya TS does not have a glittering international resume unlike many others in the Indian squad for the ISSF World Cup in Bhopal, India.
In fact, she featured in her maiden World Cup at the start of the year in Cairo and finished 7th in the individual event and 5th in mixed team. But the reigning national champion in women’s 10m air pistol has had a journey that sums up an athlete’s never-say-die spirit.
Perhaps, Divya’s time to bloom is now as she will be taking aim in Bhopal, the scene of her first major triumph at the 65th National Shooting Championship in December last.
Even at the Nationals, Divya’s route to gold wasn’t a cakewalk as she had finished third with a score of 578 in qualification behind a celebrated name like Manu Bhaker, but surged ahead in the ranking round to top with a score of 254.2.
There was no stopping the girl from Bengaluru’s Best Shot Shooting Academy, where she trains under renowned coach Manjunath Patagar, Divya grabbed the top spot in the final by beating Sanskriti Bana 16-14.
Her road to the podium at the Bhopal Nationals was based on tears and toil. It was around this time last year that Divya was quietly confident as she arrived for the Indian team trials in Bhopal.
She had a strong chance of making the team for the ISSF World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, but just before her first trial, Divya was knocked down by a bike while out for breakfast. The accident left her with a bloody face and head injuries that required 12 stitches.
From then on, it was more of a battle of the mind than skill as Divya overcame blurred vision, sleeplessness and nausea to qualify for the final with a score of 574.
But for her condition, Divya could have even won, but settled for silver in the tie-break.
Coming from where she is, Divya will again look to make a statement of intent at the Bhopal World Cup and make India proud.