Ahead of her maiden Olympics Games, young shooting sensation Manu Bhaker has started to put in the hard work in pursuit of a medal finish. Bhaker, the youngest Indian to win a gold medal at the ISSF World Cup, is eager to make her country proud at the biggest platform but is not sure if winning a gold medal is can quench her thirst for success.
“In my case, I think even if I win the Olympic gold, I will be still hungry. Till the time, I’m shooting I will try my best so that my country feels proud of me,” Bhaker told ANI.
“As this is the Olympic year so I’m focusing more on my training. I’m very excited and nervous too. When I started shooting, I never thought that I will be reaching this high. I rose up and did so well and now I have to manage between studies and practice. I’m training my mind like mental training and physical training. Now it is more like my lifestyle to do training everyday.
“Earlier, it was just a hobby that I opted for it but it is like my lifestyle. I can’t live without shooting. Everyday is like I have to shoot, I will shoot and it is what I love.”
Bhaker has all the achievements needed to make her feel confident ahead of the quadrennial event starting July 24 in Tokyo. Two years ago, aged 16, Bhaker struck gold in the women’s 10m air pistol event in her maiden Commonwealth Games appearance. Later that year, Bhaker two gold medals at the ISSF World Cup and carried it forward the year later. In December 2019, Bhaker clinched two gold medals in the 63rd National Shooting Championship Competitions.
Bhaker has the quota for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and will compete in 10m and 25m air pistol event. Indian shooters have done a fairly good job at recent events and it’s something Bhaker is drawing confidence from.
“Shooters are doing extremely good. From the last two-three years, they are at the peak so I think we will see a good show at the Olympics. I’m giving equal importance to 25m and 10m events. I train more for 10m because through that I can improve my 25m also. I focus on technical things more,” said Bhaker.
“Our shooting ranges are also one of the best shooting ranges that I have ever visited. We see a lot of lanes which are not working which is a technical thing and it needs to be worked on. This happens because of amateur shooters who hit the wrong target. Otherwise, it is very good and I’m happy with the coaching and facilities.”