She needs no introduction. Manu Bhaker has been the face of Indian shooting for the past few years and continues to be as deadly as ever with a kack for shooting coming to her from an early age. She has the 'eye of the tiger' and has broken many a record in her short career. We take a look at ten things that you should know about her.
She was born on 18th February, 2002 in the district of Jhajjar, Haryana.
She attended Universal Public Senior Secondary School in her native village of Goria.
Her father was in the Merchant Navy and was employed as a Chief Engineer and her mother is a principal of Universal Senior Secondary School located in the Goria village.
Apart from shooting Many Bhaker has also excelled in swimming, athletics, boxing and martial arts like judo and Thang Ta. She had also joined Virendar Sehwag's cricket coaching centre in Jhajjar. Incidentally it was a boxing injury on her eye that made her quit the sport and take up shooting.
Story Behind taking up Shooting
It was fate in the making that led Manu to take up the sport. Her school had an inbuilt shooting range. Manu visited it one day and tried her hand at it and in her very first shot, with no training or knowledge of the sport, she hit the 7.5 mark. Thereafter, her father who had also recognised her talent for the sport, took the risk of investing approximately 1,50,000 on her equipment and coaching to help her.
Her first ever major accolade was at the Asian Junior Championships in 2017. She went on to win the silver medal in the 10m Air Pistol event. Later that year, she won a massive haul of nine medals at the National Games and also broke the record set by Heena Sidhu with a score of 242.3(along with beating her in the same event).
Her coach as of today is Jaspal Rana who was a Gold Medallist at the 1994 Asian Games and the 1998 Commonwealth Games in the 25m centre fire pistol event. He has often been touted as the face of Indian pistol shooting and has played an instrumental role in Manu Bhaker's rise to glory in the past few years.
Records to her name
She happens to be the youngest Indian to win a gold medal at the ISSF World Cup and the second youngest Indian to win a gold medal at the Commonwealth games. She has also set a new Commonwealth Games records with 240.9 points and set a junior world record of 244.7 at the ISSF World Cup, China in 2019.
In 2019, she called out the Haryana Sports Minister, Anil Vij in a series of tweets where he had promised her a prize money of 2 crores as part of her winning a gold medal at the Youth Olympic Games. It was revealed later by her coach that she had not sent the tweets and was it was the twitter handlers responsibility and accountability that should be looked at. Anil Vij however reacted to it by criticising the manner in which the tweets had tarnished his reputation.
What To Expect
Keeping her statistics and previous victories in mind, Manu Bhaker has been touted to not only be one of India's most successful shooters in the coming few years, but to also bring home a medal at this year's Tokyo Olympics. Her consistency over the years combined with her focus and determination are all attributes that shall see her through to a podium finish.