Former India shooter Pournima Zanane passes away at 42
Former India shooter Pournima Zanane has passed away at the age of 42. Zanane, who was an International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF)-licensed coach, had been suffering from cancer for the past two years. She underwent extensive treatment for the same. According to ex-India rifleman Joydeep Karmakar, she almost recovered after receiving treatment. Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra mourned her death on Twitter.
Deeply shocked and distressed by the news of untimely demise of an old friend Pournima Zanane. She was an international shooter and ISSF coach. Our friendship goes back to Junior team days.. But we will meet someday, somewhere again 😊 pic.twitter.com/nRRNLZsRny— Joydeep Karmakar OLY (@Joydeep709) June 21, 2020
The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) sent out a condolence message after Pournima succumbed to the dreaded disease. "The National Rifle Association of India condoles the untimely sad demise of our international shooter and a coach - Ms Pournima Chinmoy Zanane, at a very young age," the sport's apex body said in its statement.
Hailing from Nanded, Pournima started her career in Mumbai before shifting base to Pune. She then represented India at multiple ISSF World Cups, Asian Championships, and Commonwealth Championships. Notably, she was a national record holder in the 10m air rifle event. Later on, Pournima took up coaching and was honored with the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports award by the Maharashtra government.
"Ms. Pournima Zanane was an Air Rifle shooter and took part in many international competitions as Pournima Gawahne. At a later stage, she started coaching shooters and also coached the Sri Lankan team," the statement added.
In another unfortunate news, multiple European champion Bobana Momcilovic Velickovic passed away at the age of 31. Reportedly, she was suffering from a severe illness for quite a long time. She was often touted as one of the world's best pistol shooters in the 21st century. The International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) confirmed the news on Twitter.
Velickovic was born on January 25, 1990 and started shooting at the age of nine in her hometown. She made appearances in two Olympic Games editions (London, 2012 and Rio de Janeiro, 2016). The Serbian also represented the national team at the European Championship in Wroclaw 2020, winning two gold medals. She was one of the most successful participants in the competition.