In the beautiful district of Kishtwar, Jammu, lives a remarkable 16-year-old girl named Sheetal Devi. Despite being born without arms, she possesses a spirit that soars beyond limitations. Her extraordinary journey began when she discovered her passion for archery just a year ago.
Undeterred by her physical challenge, Sheetal fearlessly embraced the sport. With her feet, she held the bow, used her teeth to attach the drawstring, and pulled the drawstring with her shoulder. Her determination and resilience caught the attention of the OGQ Research team, who recognized her potential and decided to support her when she was just 15 years old.
Recently, on a momentous day, Sheetal made her international debut at the Para Archery European Cup held in the Czech Republic. Against formidable competitors, she defied all odds and emerged victorious. Sheetal claimed the Silver medal in the compound open individual event, marking her first-ever international medal. Her exceptional skills also secured her a Gold medal in the mixed team event and a Bronze in women’s doubles.
In the finals, Sheetal faced off against Jane Karla of Brazil, the current World No. 3. Although Sheetal narrowly lost, with scores of 144-142, her stellar performance left spectators in awe. Notably, she had defeated the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics Gold Medalist in the quarterfinals. Her qualification score of 682 out of 720 showcased her world-class talent.
Behind Sheetal’s journey stood the unwavering support of the Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ). They provided her with nutrition, personal coaching, physiotherapy, archery equipment, and accessories, ensuring she had everything she needed to excel. Initially, obtaining top-notch equipment posed a challenge for Sheetal, but OGQ’s assistance made her dreams a reality. Her personal coach, Kuldeep Vaidwan, played a pivotal role in honing her skills and guiding her towards success.
With her recent achievements, Sheetal has already secured her spot in the Indian team for the upcoming 2023 World Para Archery Championships and the 2023 Asian Para Games. Her remarkable journey showcases the power of perseverance and determination.
Sheetal Devi, the young archer who defies all odds, embodies the true spirit of “Never Give Up.” Her story inspires all, reminding us that with passion and resilience, we can overcome any challenge that life throws our way.