Manu Bhaker: Breakthrough performances of the rising Indian shooter

Manu Bhaker, at 19, is one of the youngest Indian to represent the country at Tokyo 2020
By Olympic Channel Writer

Indian shooter Manu Bhaker has had significant success at the age of 19. Though she has had an underwhelming start to her Olympic career, she will be looking for redemption on Thursday.

She failed to qualify to the final in the women's 10m air pistol and 10m air pistol mixed events at Tokyo 2020. But Bhaker will have her final shot at glory in the women's 25m sports pistol event on Thursday.

It will be an opportunity for the teenager to make another huge mark in her still fledgling career. The Jhajjar-born shooter has already earned several laurels across World Cup and the Commonwealth Games to prove her potential. Moreover, she has also delivered some fine performances, to cement her name as one of the fine shooters in the world.

And before her final event at Tokyo 2020, let us have a look at some of her significant performances:

Rising Indian shooter Manu Bhaker
Picture by IOC

2018 Youth Olympics

Manu Bhaker first hogged the limelight at the 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires by clinching a gold medal with a score of 236.5. It was a special moment for Bhaker, early in her career, as she became India's first Youth Olympic Games gold medalist in the sport of shooting.

The teenager had bettered the score of Russia's Iana Enina 235.9 in the final to clinch the top podium spot. She was on top of her game from the onset, shooting 576 to top the qualification event, and then went on to shoot above 10 in four of her five final shots.

2018 Commonwealth Games

Bhaker continued to establish herself at the world stage in 2018 as she shattered the Games record to clinch the 10m air pistol gold at the Commonwealth Games. She was then 16 years old and also defeated her senior Indian compatriot Heena Sidhu in the process.

Bhaker shot a record 240.9 to finish way ahead of Sidhu who scored 234 at the Belmont Shooting Centre while Australia's Elena Galiabovitch (214.9) ended with the bronze medal.

Incidentally, Bhaker was so good at the event, that she stamped her authority by shooting above 10 for 14 times and ending it with a brilliant 10.4. She well and truly announced herself on the world stage with the performance.

2018 World Cup

Bhaker scripted history at the 2018 World Cup in Guadalajara, Mexico by clinching a gold medal in the 10m pistol event. The 16-year-old, thus, became the youngest Indian shooter to bag a gold medal at the World Cup.

Rifle shooter Gagan Narang and pistol shooter Rahi Sarnobat held the previous joint-record for India as they achieved the feat at the age of 23 in 2006 and 2013 respectively.

Bhaker shot 237.5 to beat the local favourite Alejandara Zavala Vazquez by a margin of 0.4 points to clinch the top podium spot. Her gold medal was confirmed with the final shot of 10.6 while the Mexican, performing under pressure, could only manage 8.8.

When will Manu Bhaker be seen in action next?

Bhaker will be next seen in action in the women's 25m sports pistol qualification event on Thursday.

She had earlier finished on the 12th spot in 10m air pistol qualification and seventh in 10m air pistol mixed qualification event with Saurabh Chaudhary.