Amal Mudhsh was upset after finishing last in the women’s 10m air rifle qualification round of the New Delhi World Cup on Friday. She wasn’t upset because she failed in her maiden appearance on the world stage. The shooter from Yemen was disappointed because she failed to do justice to all the hard work that went behind her participation.
Even after shooting for 10 years, the ‘achievements’ section in her information page on the ISSF website is blank, for she doesn’t have any medal to show her accomplishments. But if her struggle for participation could be quantified, she would be a sure-shot winner.
Amal doesn’t have a rifle of her own and before coming to Delhi, she had requested the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) to give her a rifle for the match. The NRAI asked Gagan Narang‘s academy Gun For Glory for the rifle and Amal got a Walther rifle for her training and match. She got her shooting jacket and trouser from the Qatar Shooting Association. Her travel expenses were borne by the Yemen Olympics Committee.
“My travel expenses were provided to me by the Yemen Olympic Committee. I am thankful to them for helping me with these expenses despite the situation that Yemen is going through. This is my first world event and my participation was possible because of the Indian shooting federation as they gave me the weapon, and the Qatari federation for lending me a shooting suit,” said Amal, who has earlier participated in the Asian level meets.
Amal is a researcher and has a master’s degree in social sciences. She is looking for an opportunity to prepare for a PhD. “My love for shooting is what pushed me to participate, but the war-like situation we have in Yemen is making it very difficult to train. My financial situation does not allow me to buy shooting equipment,” Amal, 35, mother of two, said.
While at the range, she tries to match her competitors by giving her all, but she is not as privileged as most of her opponents are. “The biggest difficulty I face is the lack of firing equipment. Given the situation that we have in the country – aerial bombings and armed conflicts – it is difficult to train,” Amal told TOI after her match.
“I hope to get a training camp before a tournament, and I would be grateful if I can get a personal weapon from any company. If this happens, God willing, I will achieve my targets in the sport,” she added.
Amal has two children, a girl and a boy. “I have left behind my daughter in Yemen but my son Amir, who is just nine months old, is here with me. Today he was with me at the range.”
Her first participation at a world event has given Amal hope. “My dream is to become a world champion, to participate in the Olympics and also obtain a doctorate in social sciences. I hope that the war in Yemen will end and peace will prevail in all countries,” she hoped.
“If I do not have the luck to fulfill my dreams, then I will work towards making my children world champions in shooting,” she said.