Coach and former shooter Pournima Zanane dies of cancer aged 42

Zanane had been suffering from cancer for the last two years.

Pournima Zanane participates in the 10m air-rifle event at the National Shooting Championship in New Delhi in December, 2012.   -  Sandeep Saxena

Pournima Zanane, a former shooter and an ISSF-licensed coach, has died of cancer aged 42.

India’s shooting fraternity, including Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra, have mourned Zanane’s untimely death.

Zanane, born in Nanded, was a national record holder in 10m air-rifle event. She took to coaching and was honoured with the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports award by the Maharashtra government. She started her career in Mumbai before shifting base to Pune. She represented India at multiple ISSF World Cups, Asian Championships, Commonwealth Championships, among other tournaments.

Zanane was diagnosed with cancer during the National Championships in Kerala two years ago and underwent extensive treatment for it. According to ex-India rifleman Joydeep Karmakar, Zanane had almost recovered after receiving treatment for cancer.


The National Rifle Association of India sent out a condolence message after she succumbed to the 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. 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 NRAI said in a statement.

Beijing Games gold medallist Bindra said the shooter will be greatly missed. “RIP Pournima. You will be greatly missed,” Bindra wrote on Twitter.

“Deeply shocked and distressed by the news of untimely demise of an old friend Pournima Zanane. Our friendship goes back to Junior team days... But we will meet someday, somewhere again,” Olympian Karmakar tweeted.

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