There was early heartbreak for India on Sunday at Tokyo Olympics, as she failed to qualify for the finals in the Women’s 10m air pistol. Manu Bhaker shouldered a lot of hopes going into the Olympics, as she was ranked world number two, and had 13 World Cup medals to her name at the age of just 19.
However, Manu Bhaker was hit with a disaster on her debut at Olympics, as she suffered an equipment malfunction with 55 minutes and 44 shots remaining. She managed to finish 12th in qualifying, and missed out on a place in the finals as she ran out of time. Her final shot was just an 8 which ended her hopes of a medal in the event.
Heena Sidhu, former world number one pistol shooter defended Manu Bhaker amidst fans criticizing her. She believes that the equipment malfunction costed her significant time, which was the reason why she failed to make it to the finals.
Heena Sidhu details what went wrong with Manu Bhaker’s pistol
Heena Sidhu revealed that Manu Bhaker’s pistol lever was broken in between the qualifying round. One cannot shoot without a properly functioning lever in pistol events, which was the reason why Manu Bhaker lost so much time.
Heena Sidhu went on to add that the Indian team had a few spare parts, which they used to change the broken lever. However, in order to repair the lever, they had to remove the grip and the electric circuit, which shows if the pistol is working fine.
However, despite this effort, the pistol did not start working. Then, the Indian contingent present in the arena had to make corrections in the electric circuit, which finally started the pistol. However, the entire process would have taken a significant time, believes Sidhu.
Heena Sidhu stated that she came to know about the situation in Tokyo, as her husband is a coach of the shooting team. She went on to add that she has never heard about a lever dysfunction in shooting, and that it was a rare occurrence. Manu Bhaker ended with a score of 575, just two points shy from a final qualification.