All eyes will be on India’s 19-year old shooting prodigy, Manu Bhaker as she participates in the Women’s 10m air pistol event on Day 3 of Tokyo Olympics. The Indian enters the event as the world number two, and is among the country’s top contenders for a medal in shooting.
Mirabai Chanu started off the Olympics in style, as she clinched a silver medal in Weightlifting on Day 2. However, there was some heartbreak for the Indians, as India’s brightest hope for an Olympic Gold Medal, Saurabh Chaudhary could only manage to finish seventh in Men’s 10m air pistol.
Manu Bhaker has several accolades to her name, at an age of just 19 years, and has a bright future ahead of her. The Indian shooter has 13 gold medals to her name at World Cup events, and also clinched the gold medal at Commonwealth Games 2018 in Gold Coast. From shooting in the Junior category in 2018, she has come a long way, and has made a name for herself on the bigger stages.
Manu Bhaker facing stiff competition from an experienced field
The question which will be on the minds of every Indian, heading into Day 2 of Tokyo Olympics is whether Manu Bhaker can claim a medal in shooting. Although, she is more than capable of making it to the podium, yet one must not forget the fact that she is just 19 years old, and will face tough competition against a string field.
The entry list for the Women’s 10m air pistol event, includes the silver and bronze medalist at Rio Olympics. Vitalina Batsarashkina of Russia won silver in Rio, whereas, Anna Korakaki of Greece claimed the bronze medal. Moreover, medalists from London Olympics will also participate in Tokyo, which makes it a difficult cast for Manu Bhaker.
Celine Goberville of France won a silver medal at London Olympics, whereas, Olena Kostevych of Ukraine won a bronze medal in London. The first and foremost task for Manu Bhaker is to make sure that she sails past the qualifying stages, and books a place in the finals.
Her last participation came at the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi this year, where she bagged a silver medal in the individual event, and a gold medal in the mixed team event.