With 29 days to go for Tokyo Olympic Games, All India Radio will take a look at face of India’s most promising teenager shooter Manu Bhaker, who will be busiest shooter at the Tokyo Olympics.
Born on February 18, 2002 in Jhajjar, Haryana, Manu created a sensation in shooting circles by winning gold in her ISSF World Cup debut.
The Women’s 10m Air Pistol finals at Guadalajara boasted of experienced Olympians such as Alejandra Zavala Vazquez, Celine Goberville and Anna Korakaki; yet the event was won by an unknown Indian teenager.
Manu’s feat heralded the revival of Indian shooting on the international stage. The majority of India’s top shooters were aged 20 or younger, and it all started with a 16-year-old creating history in Mexico.
While Manu has had her moments in Women’s 25m Pistol, it’s in Women’s 10m Air Pistol where she has had the most success.
Soon after her Guadalajara heroics, she came into national prominence again after winning gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and beating the experienced Heena Sidhu in the process.
2019 saw the advent of Manu’s mixed air pistol partnership with Saurabh Chaudhary.
To say the team has been a success would be an understatement. Starting from their senior debut at the 2019 ISSF World Cup at New Delhi, the duo has won all possible golds at ISSF WC competitions since then.
Manu’s biggest medal till date has been the gold at the 2019 edition of the prestigious ISSF World Cup Final. Despite barely making it past the qualification round with 578, she stunned everyone by shooting 244.7 in the finals. The score was nearly Three points ahead of 2nd placed Zorana Arunovic and was a new World Record in Women’s junior 10m air pistol finals.