The 2018 ISSF World Cup in Guadalajara, Mexico, is turning out to be a golden dream for 16-year-old Manu Bhaker. The 11th standard student won her second successive gold medal in a mixed team event, becoming the youngest Indian and world’s third youngest shooter to win a medal at World Cup. In the 10m air pistol mixed team event, Manu partnered with Om Prakash Mitharval to clinch the gold, just one day after she had achieved the same feat at the 10m air pistol individual event.
The feat is hard to believe as Bhaker, who comes from Jhajjar, Haryana, took to shooting just a little over two years ago. As things stands today, she has won two gold medals in her World Cup debut. Interestingly, Bhaker had tried her hand at other sports like boxing and martial arts before she eventually settled for shooting.
Talking about her success, Bhaker said that she doesn’t think about it much and the results come. “It just happens. I don’t think about them. At times I don’t even know what the records are,” she said, while adding, “I am grate ul to all my coaches or their advice and the hours they have put in to hone my technique.”
Bhaker had announced her entry on the big stage by defeating highly-experienced Heena Sidhu at the 61st National Shooting Championship in Thiruvananthapuram, last December. She had also broken Hina’s last standing record at the 10m air pistol event. Overall, Bhaker had won a staggering 15 medals, including nine gold, during the
She was motivated to take up shooting by her father who asked her to try her hand at the sport.
Apart from Manu Bhaker, the duo of Deepak Kumar and Mehuli Ghosh also won a medal, taking India’s tally to six in the competition. The duo was competing as India 2 and shot 435.1 in the five-team final, winning bronze in the 10m air rifle mixed team event.