Teen shooting sensation Manu Bhaker says her aim is to secure a quota place for the 2020 Olympics. Having left her mark in almost all the top events, the 16-year-old Bhaker is now focussed on making the cut for the Tokyo Games.
Bhaker, who started the year with gold medals in her maiden senior World Cup, added two more yellow metals at the Commonwealth Games and the Youth Olympics, the first by an Indian shooter. “My aim now is to win Olympic quota,” Bhaker told PTI.
The year saw a string of young shooters including Saurabh Chaudhary and Bhaker scale great heights in the sport. The youngsters came out on top at the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, the Youth Olympics and the Senior Nationals.
“We saw the youth power this year, it feels really good that teenagers are doing so well and achieving their goals. We have set our goals and are working hard, it is very surprising that suddenly all of us are doing so well. I feel very nice when I see youngsters performer,” Bhaker said.
Indian shooting has a bright future with the abundance of young talent at its disposal. The recently-concluded National Shooting Championship saw 13-year-old Esha Singh upstage big names like Bhaker and Heena Sidhu in the women’s air pistol events to win three gold medals.
Unlike other sports, shooting allows youngster to participate in both the senior and junior events. Such exposure has benefitted the younger generation. “Even in the senior events most of the competitors are from juniors and it helps us. In shooting we juniors get the opportunity to participate in the senior events that is not the case in wrestling and boxing,” the World Cup gold medallist said.
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