Originally from Rohtak, Haryana, twenty-five-year-old Pooja was one of three female Indian para athletes who represented India at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio.
Daughter of a scrap merchant, Pooja hails from a very humble background and was diagnosed with Poliomyelitis during childhood. Inclined to sports from an early age, Pooja retained keen interest in shooting. However, with no infrastructure for the sport of shooting in her local town, she chose to pursue her interest in archery instead and picked up the sport in 2013.
Training at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Rohtak, Pooja excelled under the guidance of her coach Sanjay Suhag. She found it extremely difficult to afford equipment of her own, and it was her coach who arranged for very basic archery equipment to encourage Pooja on her sporting ambitions. In May 2016, Pooja won her first major medal at the National Para Archery tournament in Rohtak and followed that up with a 5th place finish at the World Ranking Tournament in Czech Republic; the latter performance securing her qualification for the Paralympics.
Despite only recently gaining access to world class equipment, Pooja managed to make the round of 32 in Rio 2016, where she bowed out to a much higher ranked opponent. She now hopes to make a mark in future international competitions.
- Represented India at Rio Paralympics, 2016
- Individual Gold medal at the Para National Archery Championship in Rohtak, 2016
- Fifth at the World Ranking Archery Tournament in Czech Republic, 2016