Manu Bhaker

India IND

Shooting

  • First Olympic Games
    Tokyo 2020
  • Year of Birth
    2002
Olympic Results

Biography

Manu Bhaker

Even as a teenager, Manu Bhaker quickly rose through the ranks to become India’s latest shooting star.

Born in Jhajjar, Haryana, a state known for its boxers and wrestlers, Manu Bhaker took to sports like tennis, skating and boxing in school. She also participated in a form of martial arts called ‘thang ta’, winning medals at the national level.

She then impulsively decided to try her hand at shooting when she was just 14 – just after the 2016 Rio Olympics ended – and loved it. Within a week, Manu Bhaker asked her father to get her a sport shooting pistol to hone her craft.

Her ever-supportive father, Ram Kishan Bhaker, bought her a gun - a decision that would one day make Manu Bhaker an Olympian.

At the 2017 national shooting championships, Manu Bhaker stunned Olympian and former world No. 1 Heena Sidhu. Manu shot a record score of 242.3 to erase Sidhu’s mark to win the 10m Air Pistol final.

She then added a silver medal at the 2017 Asian junior championships and the following year, Manu Bhaker announced her arrival on a big stage in style.

Making her International Sport Shooting Federation (ISSF) World Cup debut at Guadalajara, Mexico, Manu Bhaker broke the junior world record in the qualification rounds to sail into the women’s 10m Air Pistol final.

Up against Olympic gold-medallist Anna Korakaki, three-time World Cup medallist Celine Goberville, and local favourite Alejandra Zavala in the final, Manu Bhaker shot a total of 237.5 to win the gold medal on debut!

At just 16 years old, it made her the youngest Indian to win a gold medal at an ISSF World Cup.

Manu Bhaker then paired up with Om Prakash Mitherval to win her second gold in the 10m Air Pistol mixed team event.

Bhaker was still eligible to participate in the ISSF Junior World Cup, and she promptly won gold medals in the individual and mixed team event in the 10m Air Pistol.

A month later, at the 2018 Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast, Australia, Manu Bhaker shot a new Games record to clinch the women’s 10m Air Pistol gold.

She then won another gold in the 10m Air Pistol at her second ISSF Junior World Cup to add to a bronze at the mixed team event while narrowly missing out on a medal in the 25m pistol event.

Though she did not get a medal at the 2018 Asian Games, Manu Bhaker ended the year by creating history at the 2018 Youth Olympics Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She won the 10m Air Pistol gold, becoming the first Indian shooter and first female athlete from the country to win gold at the Youth Olympics.

The teenager then teamed up with Saurabh Chaudhary at the 2019 ISSF World Cup in New Delhi and it has so far proved to be a very fruitful partnership.

The duo won the mixed team gold medals at all three ISSF World Cups in 2019 and at the World Cup final in China, Manu Bhaker won both the individual and mixed team event gold.

Manu Bhaker also sealed an Olympics quota place with a fourth-place finish at the 2019 Munich ISSF World Cup.

She added a gold and silver medal in the 10m Air Pistol at the 2021 New Delhi ISSF World Cup and a bronze in the 25m Air Pistol, making her one of the medal favourites for India at the Tokyo Olympics.

However, Manu’s debut at the Games did not go as planned.

The teenager’s pistol developed a snag in the middle of the 10m air pistol qualification, forcing Manu to move away from the competition to fix the gun.

The damaged piece was replaced and Manu came back to the firing range. But the rhythm was already broken and it was a race against time to complete her remaining 44 shots in 36 minutes.

The youngster did well under pressure but it wasn’t enough to push her into the top eight for a place in the final.

In her next event - mixed 10m pistol - Manu Bhaker partnered with fellow teenager Saurabh Chaudhary. The two could only finish seventh even after topping stage 1 of qualification.

Manu Bhaker’s forgettable Tokyo Olympics campaign ended with the 25m pistol, in which she fell short of making the final.

Despite the disappointments on her debut Olympics, Manu Bhaker has age on her side and along with it, the talent to become one of the best shooters in the world.

Olympic Results

More results
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Tokyo 2020

#7
10m Air Pistol Mixed Team
10m Air Pistol Mixed Team Shooting
#12
10m Air Pistol Women
10m Air Pistol Women Shooting
#15
25m Pistol Women
25m Pistol Women Shooting

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