ISSF Shooting World Cup: Manu Bhaker confident of adapting to challenging conditions at Tokyo 2020

Bhaker, the women's 10m Air Pistol shooter, booked her berth for Tokyo 2020 after finishing fourth at the ISSF World Cup in Munich. 

By Samrat Chakraborty

Indian prodigy Manu Bhaker, who is set to participate at the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi from Thursday, is confident of adapting to the change in conditions at Tokyo 2020.

Bhaker, one of India's best women's 10m Air Pistol shooters, booked her berth for Tokyo 2020 after finishing fourth at the ISSF World Cup in Munich. She will be one of the 15 Indian shooters representing the Indian contingent at the Games, which is slated to run from July 23 to August 8, 2021, and is quite confident about tackling the windy conditions at the ranges in Tokyo.

"Best part about India is that we have all seasons here, every sort of climate, temperature and environment. We have had all experience about the windy conditions and climate changes, I believe that it won't be a problem for us," Bhaker told ANI.

The ISSF Shooting World Cup will also be an important platform for Bhaker to work on her loopholes ahead of the mega-event. The 2018 World Cup gold medallist, however, is hopeful of delivering her best performance in New Delhi.

Manu Bhaker.

"After a very long time we will be having an international competition, I am looking forward to it. The past one year has been tough for everyone, not just the Indian athletes. We will see how we are able to perform, how we have been training and how we will be able to deliver, we can just hope for the best," she said.

In a precision-based sport like shooting, the mental fortitude of an athlete is tested to its limits, as the podium finish can be decided with a fraction of a point.

The novel coronavirus pandemic has further made the situation grim as athletes need to compete inside the bio-bubble. Bhaker, however, is contended and working on her mental conditioning to overcome the challenge.

"I am working on my mental conditioning. In the beginning, it was a sort of challenge for all because I believe we never had so many restrictions in one go, you are restricted in everything, you can't go outside of a room you are meant to be in the room alone," she said.

The sports ministry, earlier this year, had also approved a sports psychologist for the 19-year-old to aid her preparation for Tokyo 2020.