Bhaker aims to continue good run

Last Updated : 19 September 2018, 10:43 IST

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The stage is getting bigger and the expectations are going higher but Indian shooting sensation Manu Bhaker is grounded as she gears up for another test in next month's Asian Games.

"I want to do well in those events (Asian Games followed by World Championships) but, frankly speaking, I am mainly thinking about competing in the next event and not about medals. Pressure is there, but it's there everywhere," the shooter from Jhajjar, Haryana, told PTI as she calmly spoke about the challenges that lie ahead.

Bhaker is also least affected by the controversies surrounding her selection in three events for the Asian Games, scheduled to be held in Jakarta and Palembeng from August 18.

After taking the shooting world by storm with a plethora of medals, the 16-year-old will next compete in 10M air pistol, 25M sports pistol and mixed air pistol at the Asian Games.

Her international gold medal count stands at an astonishing 10, a massive achievement for a teenager.

Ignored for the Asiad mixed team air pistol event, the seasoned Heena Sidhu had hit out at the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) and, in a thinly-veiled reference to the Haryana girl, said the federation was bending rules to favour the favourites.

One of the "favourites" is understood to be Bhaker, who remains unperturbed.

"Main sirf khelne se matlab rakhti hoon, bas (I just want to focus on my game). I am fine if I am picked in three events, if they select me for one event or if I am not, then also I am okay," the 16-year-old said.

Bhaker's inclusion reportedly pushed Sidhu to No. two in the 10M air pistol event and No. three in 25m sports pistol, from No. one in the 10M air pistol and No two in 25M pistol.

"I can't think about selection. I don't allow all these things to weigh me down," she added.

When she claimed the individual gold medal in her maiden senior World Cup appearance in Mexico earlier this year, Bhaker became the youngest Indian shooter to finish on top of the podium in these events.

The expectations will understandably be high from the youngster.

"In recent times I have worked a lot on the technical aspect. Good preparations, I can say. I tried to improve my scores, but you can't shoot well all the time."

Published 29 July 2018, 11:42 IST

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