Manu Bhaker leads India’s medal surge at junior world shooting championship

Indian shooters won four gold medals and two silvers at the junior world event on Saturday. Manu Bhaker was involved in two of the gold medal triumphs.

By Aarish Ansari
Picture by 2018 Getty Images

Indian shooter Manu Bhaker added two more gold medals to her kitty at the ISSF Junior World Championship 2021 in Lima, Peru on Saturday, and helped India rise to the top of the medals tally.

After winning the individual pistol gold on Thursday, the 19-year-old Manu Bhaker clinched top podium in the mixed team pistol with Sarabjot Singh and followed it up with another gold in the women’s team event.

Indian pistol shooters registered a one-two finish in mixed team as Manu Bhaker and Sarabjot Singh defeated compatriots Shikha Narwal and Naveen 16-12 in the gold medal playoff.

Tokyo Olympian Manu Bhaker then joined up with Rhythm Sangwan and Shikha Narwal to win the women’s team event by beating Belarus 16-12 in the final.

The men’s pistol team of Sarabjot, Naveen and Shiva Narwal also defeated Belarus 16-14 in a tight gold medal match.

The gold rush continued for India, with the men’s air rifle trio of Paarth Makhija, Srikanth Dhanush and Rajpreet Singh prevailing 16-6 over a strong American team comprising reigning Olympic champion William Shaner, Rylan Kissel and John Blanton.

India, however, faltered in the air rifle mixed team final as Atmika Gupta and Rajpreet Singh lost 17-15 to the American duo of William Shaner and Mary Tucker.

The women’s air rifle team, featuring Nisha Kanwar, Zeena Khitta and Atmika Gupta also had to settle for silver after an intense final against Hungary. After a tough fight, the Indian eves eventually went down 16-14.

India have now won 14 medals – six gold, six silver and two bronze – at the junior world event and are sitting on top of the table. Second-placed USA have 10.