Manu Bhaker produced a spectacular performance to claim India’s first ever gold medal in shooting at the Youth Olympic Games, rediscovering the touch that made her a teen sensation.
The 16-year-old Bhaker shot 236.5 to finish on top of the podium in the women’s 10m air pistol event, making up for the heartbreak at the Asian Games in Indonesia and the World Championship where she could not live up to her billing.
Russia’s Iana Enina won the silver with 235.9, while Nino Khutsiberidze bagged the bronze medal.
“This is an important win for me. It will be a morale booster (after the Asian Games disappointment) as I look forward with an aim to bring home more laurels,” Bhaker said after winning the gold.
Having suffered the first significant loss of her young career in Indonesia after an astonishing run that made her one of India’s biggest prospects, Bhaker lived up to the billing in the Argentine capital, showing tremendous mental strength to achieve her goal.
Representing her country in the women’s 10m air pistol event, Bhaker has won medals at all major events she has participated barring the recent Asian Games.
At the 2017 Asian Junior Championships, she won a silver medal but at the 2018 ISSF World Cup held in Mexico, she returned with two gold medals. She won the women’s 10m air pistol and in the 10m air pistol mixed team events.
The girl from Jhajjar, Haryana, followed it up with a gold medal at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April.