The Indian shooters were on a winning streak at the recent ISSF Junior World Shooting Championship in Lima, Peru. India finished first in the medal count with a whopping 30 medals. India’s rich medal harvest in the competition is an indication that most shooters are hitting the nail on the head in various events they participate in and one of those top players is Jhajjar-born sensation Manu Bhaker.
The 19-year-old won 5 medals, including 4 gold and 1 bronze. His performance is a clear indication of his return to the groove that the Tokyo Olympics lacked. Manu Bhaker’s father, Mr. Ram Kishan Bhaker, always closely monitors his daughter’s performance as well as her training and preparation before entering any tournament, big or small. Ram Kishan Bhaker spoke exclusively to The Bridge about his daughter’s near-perfect performance at the ISSF World Junior Championship.
âManu has competed in five events and won medals in all five so who won’t be happy. I think the whole country is happy with his performance and his confidence level is back to where it was before. the Olympics, it seemed his confidence level was dwindling. All of these are great indications for Indian shooting. Someone has to lead the team and if you have that opportunity, it’s great for you, “said senior Bhaker.
Manu Bhaker’s performance over the years has been of the highest quality, winning numerous medals in World Cups, World Championships, Commonwealth Games, etc. This time, too, it was no different as she won gold in 4 of the 5 competitions she took part in while bronze in the 25m pistol, which saw a hotly contested battle and she lost the medal of gold against his 14-year-old compatriot Naamya Kapoor.
âYes, definitely I was looking at 25 M Air Pistol. In 7th position, Manu’s performance in one of the heats was not good. To make a comeback from there, she came back to 6th place, then 5th position after 4th and 3rd. What was amazing about the shootout for the 2nd and 3rd was that there were four rounds of shootouts which was also very good. She just missed out at the end. Several times it seemed like this time India for sure will win both gold and silver but often times you don’t get what you expect but it was a great performance. performed well at the world championship which is held once every four years and winning a medal there is important even though it is a junior level competition. The world championship is a prestigious event. A lot of people have it. said China wasn’t participating, but they didn’t because their National Games are being played right now. But I think that kind of score, even when China would have played, India would also have obtained the same number r of medals they pocket, “said Ram Kishan Bhaker.
Manu Bhaker’s father and all her family supported her in her heyday as well as in her difficult times. After the below-par performance of 19 years at the recently concluded Olympic Games in Tokyo, where she failed to advance to the final of one of the events in which she participated as well as a malfunction of her weapon in the In the middle of the 10-meter Air Pistol qualifying round, her family took her for a well-deserved break to relax, refresh and rejuvenate, which is now paying off.
âManu was very upset with her performance at the Tokyo Olympics. If you see in the mixed team event and in the 25 air pistol, she appreciates the most, as I told you. Air pistol compressed 25 M, her qualifying score is still very good. At the 2018 Asian Games, she scored 593. At the World Cup, her score was 590 in qualifying, so she was very satisfied with her performance but the same performance was not at the Olympics. She scored 582 in qualifying which is a good score. but you can’t call it a competitive score to qualify for the Olympics final. This time she scored 587 which was a very good score despite her state of mind which was not good after her performance at the Tokyo Olympics. After that she took a long break from filming. We walked out of town for 25 to 30 days and we haven’t thought about the game at all. back we went back to zero from scratch, forget what happened in the olympics and start all over again. There were some flaws in his game, “he complained.
Manu Bhaker’s superlative performance has once again raised the country’s expectations for future competitions which also include the Paris Olympics in 2024 and before that she will participate in many tournaments and competitions because, according to her father, her performance comes back to where it is a few seasons ago.
“I’m very happy. The whole country is happy with Manu’s performance. The score was very good and in the final too, her score was correct. It was an impressive performance. Her performance was better than the other two girls in the game. The team event. It was a very satisfying performance. Manu’s confidence will also return because after scoring 582 at the Tokyo Olympics in 25 M Air Pistol, she was unable to advance to the final. This time the score was 587. Therefore this shows that his performance graph is going And I get all the messages and calls from everywhere, I want to thank them all from your platform, âsaid the father.
A win gives a sportsman confidence while a loss teaches a lesson and areas to work on and this is what Manu Bhaker can gain from the Tokyo Olympics debacle as the next Olympics are not too far away. Unlike the normal 4-year gap, these next Olympics will return in the space of 3 years, giving these young shooters another opportunity to do what Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Abhinav Bindra, Gagan Narang and Vijay Kumar have done to the country.
âEvery athlete goes through their ups and downs in life and it would be unfair to say that at the Olympics something was missing. It’s about dealing with the pressure in every competition, but at the Olympics it’s different. It’s a mega event. So it’s more. You can only say that there will be a lot of pressure. The kind of pressure that was there was different. It wasn’t that the young shooters there were. Less experienced. They had all played and won medals before. That way they gained experience and they are back in their sights in their performance area. “
For Manu Bhaker, the competition will now become tougher as new talents are arriving in women’s pistol shooting. Young names making their presence felt are 14-year-old Naamya Kapoor, Rhythm Sangwan who competed with her as well as against her at the World Junior Championships and won medals.
âCertainly that’s a good thing. If the level of competition is high, whether it’s senior or junior, shooters will be aware that wherever you perform the level of performance is very high. therefore you have to work harder. If you talk about these two girls Rhythm and Naamya then they too performed well. It’s amazing for Indian shooting that there is a very talented bench force coming in. The shooters who take things for granted will not be able to do it, “said Ram Kishan Bhaker.
According to Ram Kishan Bhaker, who keeps a constant eye on his preparation before each big or small competition, is also not too worried about the batch of talented young people who prepare for each competition in the same way as it is for the competitions. juniors. , senior competitions, World Cups or Olympic Games.
âManu takes every competition very seriously, whether it’s senior or junior. A school competition, district or state level competition or each competition for it is a new competition. For each competition, its preparation is the same. It’s not that for the Olympics, she does a different type of preparation. She is very simple, no matter what she has to play, she will play with all her heart and play for the country. She is playing to win medals for the country. Earlier 4-5 years ago the situation was different. One shooter pocketing an Olympic quota was enough, but nowadays every shooter wants to win a medal in whatever competition they play, be it the World Championship, the World Cup, the Asian Games, the Olympics. or the Commonwealth. And if you watch shooting which I still see and observe, there are a lot of shooters who can change the tide of the game at any time, “Bhaker said of his daughter’s preparation and approach.
Manu Bhaker’s rich medal harvest at the ISSF World Junior Championship is an indication that the multiple World Cup gold medalist is back in shape and that a stunning performance will give her confidence in the much needed momentum after the Tokyo Olympics debacle. But now she will probably have to be more competitive as there are more talented youngsters like Naamya Kapoor and Rhythm Sangwan giving them tough but healthy competition. All of these are progressive signs of the Indian shooting.