Manu Bhaker’s name will be on every Indian fan’s list of Tokyo Olympics 2020 medal contenders, especially for the new event of 10m Air Pistol Mixed Team along with Saurabh Chaudhary. The duo has won 6 ISSF World Cup golds and 1 silver since 2019.
Manu also has a good record in individual events particularly 10m AP. She has won 2 ISSF golds, including at the prestigious ISSF World Cup finals. In 2018 she became the first female Indian gold medalist at an Olympic event after she won the Youth Olympic gold in Buenos Aires. She presently has 2 junior World Records to her name. She has already accomplished more than many shooters and is still only 19.
Manu Bhaker has received tremendous support from her family
Manu Bhaker is one of the discoveries of the Khelo India Games. She was the Girl’s 10m AP gold medalist in the very first edition back in 2018. She also won several medals in the Shooting Nationals of 2018. Her international breakthrough came soon after at the Guadalajara World Cup.
Apart from shooting, she has competed in several other sports at the youth level. These include boxing, tennis, cricket, and martial arts.
Through all this, her family has backed her to the hilt. Manu’s father Ramkishan Bhaker is an engineer in the Merchant Navy while her mother Sumedha is a school teacher. She also has a brother named Akhil. It was her father who introduced her to different sports in her childhood till she finally decided to take up shooting. Her mother ensures she takes a proper diet and also encouraged her to take up yoga and meditation.
Despite being close to her family, she barred them from accompanying her at the 2018 Asian Games due to the dual conflict posed by the tough lifestyle of an international shooter coupled with strict, overprotective parents.
Manu’s family also has supported her decision to prioritize sports over academics. She recently gave her BA exams during the European Shooting Championships while her father stated “She may be very critical about her research but when there’s a conflict between her competitors and exams, then she chooses sports activities.”
After her gold at Guadalajara, Manu’s father spoke about the many sacrifices the family had to make to support her career. “Shooting is an expensive sport. Each pistol costs Rs Two Lakh. Till today, we’ve purchased three pistols for Manu. In a year, we end up spending about Rs 10 Lakh just on Manu’s sporting requirements”, he was quoted as saying in an interview. With the way her career has gone so far, Manu’s family has every reason to be proud of her.