Abhinav Bindra on Saturday had a word of advice for teenage shooting sensation Manu Bhaker, who is struggling to find some freedom in the restrictions that come with the life of a sportsperson. Bhaker, who has won World Cup and Commonwealth Games gold medals, has told her parents not to accompany her for overseas tournaments
Bindra on Saturday said on Twitter, “Dear Manu – this is the life you have signed on for. It’s your choice. These are not sacrifices , this is a privileged life. Make the best of it. You have a wonderful coach and mentor to guide you. All the very best for the next few exciting weeks!”
Dear Manu – this is the life you have signed on for. It’s your choice. These are not sacrifices , this is a privileged life. Make the best of it. You have a wonderful coach and mentor to guide you. All the very best for the next few exciting weeks !
— Abhinav Bindra OLY (@Abhinav_Bindra) 18 August 2018
In an interview to AFP, the 16-year old, who is in Palembang where the Asian Games are being held, said, “They make limits for me, like, ‘Eat that, eat this, don’t go there, do this, don’t do this, don’t use your phone, don’t do this now, go to bed. It’s a bit too much.”
Favourites to win a medal at the Asian Games, Bhaker’s day starts at 5am with yoga and meditation. The ‘juniors’ in the Indian team are allowed to use their phones for only one hour in a day. When asked how she feels watching seniors not put through restrictions, despite the fact that she is now competing at a senior level for the 25m sports pistol and both the individual and mixed team 10m air pistol, she said, “They’re seniors. They’re free. They can do anything they want. They can use their phones any time.”
Bhaker, who became popular as the youngest Indian to win a gold medal at the World Cup, admits that she feels lonely despite all her achievements. The Commonwealth Games record setter said that her friends start feeling that they should show her respect as she is a gold medallist rather than have fun. “Your friends are like, ‘No, we can’t have fun with her. She’s a Commonwealth gold medallist – we must respect her,'” she says. “Your friend circle decreases.”