Can Manu Bhaker be India's most successful sportsperson at the Tokyo Olympics?
Manu Bhaker will become the second Indian to participate in three different events at a single edition of the Olympics.
The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) announced the Indian shooting squad for the TokyoOlympics yesterday. While almost all the expected shooters made the cut, the selectors did drop a surprise deciding to swap Chinki Yadav's Women's 25m Sports Pistol with a quota in Women's 10m Air Rifle to send the 21 year old Elavenil Valarivan to Tokyo.
Amidst all this chaos, one name which stood out in the squad was Manu Bhaker. The 19-year-old pistol the shooter was named to compete in 3 different events – Women's 10m Air Pistol, Women's 25m Sports Pistol and the 10m Air Pistol Mixed Team.
Competing in three different events at the same edition of the Olympics is no joke and with her selection, Manu Bhaker becomes only the second Indian to participate in 3 different events at the same Olympics.
Who was the first Indian to achieve this feat?
Coincidentally, the first Indian to compete in three different events at the same Olympics was also a shooter. And he did not do it just once or twice, but he did it thrice in three consecutive editions of the Olympics.
The man in question here is none other than the 2012 London Olympics bronze medallist, Gagan Narang.
Narang first competed in three events at the same Olympics during the 2008 Beijing Games when he participated in the Men's 10m Air Rifle, Men's 50m Rifle 3 Positions and Men's 50m Rifle Prone.
He further repeated this feat at the 2012 London and the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics competing in the same events.
Will Manu Bhaker become India's most successful individual Olympian?
Competing in 3 different event means that Manu Bhaker is also in contention to become India's most successful Olympian in her very first stint at the games.
Currently wrestler Sushil Kumar who has won a bronze at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and a silver medal at the 2012 London Games is India's most successful athlete at the Olympics.
If Manu Bhaker succeeds in clinching medals at all her events, she will not only become India's most successful athlete at the Olympics but she might also become the first Indian woman with multiple Olympic medals in her bag. She will also stand a chance to become the first Indian to win multiple medals at a single edition of the Olympics.
Besides all this, she will also be in contention to become the youngest Indian to win an Olympic medal – a feat which the 18-year-old shooter Saurabh Chaudhary might also be eyeing at the Tokyo Olympics.