Today:- Manu Bhaker, 16, etched her name in history books by clinching the women’s 10m air pistol gold at the ISSF World Cup in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Sunday, in the process becoming India’s youngest to win a World Cup gold. Rifle shooter Gagan Narang and pistol shooter Rahi Sarnobat were India’s previous youngest World Cup gold medal lists at the age of 23 – in 2006 and 2013, respectively.
Singapore’s rifle shooter Lindsay Veloso and USA’s shotgunner Vincent Hancock, both aged 15, are the youngest World Cup gold winners.
The Jhajjar girl, who took to the sport only two years ago, scored a commendable 237.5 in the final to beat local favourite Alejandra Zavala Vazquez by 0.4 points in dramatic fashion. Alejandra is a multiple World Cup and World Cup Finals gold medallist and has been shooting since 1998, four years before Manu was born. Other than winning the gold at such a young age, Manu’s achievement is special as it came while competing against three Olympic medallists (Celine Goberville, Anna Korakkai and Heidi Diethelm) and multiple World Cup medallists. Besides, this was the first World Cup where women shooters fired 60 shots in the qualifications. Women shooters earlier took 40 shots in the qualification round but the rule was changed on January 1, 2018 for gender equality. “This medal will motivate me to reach greater heights… I dedicate this to my family and coaches, who have been supportive throughout,” Manu told TOI. Asked what was on her mind before the final shot, she said, “I just told myself to focus on my technique, irrespective of my standing in the final. I just did that and it worked”.
She is not done yet in Mexico. She has the chance to win medals in 25m pistol and 10m air pistol team events.
Teennews1 News Desk