The Girl with the Golden Eye- Manu Bhaker makes the nation proud
A pastime turned into impeccable success for Haryana girl Manu Bhaker in Feb 2018. The 16 year was as composed as ever when she took the last shot and scored a 10.8 to take the gold at the ISSF World Cup.
But life wasn’t always about shooting for this girl from Jhajjar. The 11th standard student who studies at Universal Senior Secondary School was always a bright student. She even scored a 10.0 C.G.P.A. in her 10th Board examination. Her hobbies including playing different sports including cricket, football, boxing and Thang ta- a Manipur martial art. However, fate had other plans.
An eye injury during a boxing match prompted her mother to take up shooting instead. Her first experience left nothing to be desired. Her father took her to the range and asked her to try her hand at the sport. She fired a few shots that found the centre of the target. “I have full faith in my daughter’s talent and ability. Mark my words, she could be in the 2020 Olympics. Her life is more important than anything else, so I made her quit boxing and thang ta,” her mother said.
It took her very little time to show great results. Practicing for more than 4 to 5 hours a day, Manu was a natural, who with the support of her coaches and parents soared new heights. Beating national champions became her bread and butter. But the victory in Mexico surpassed all others.
Taking a look at her achievements, it is easy to be overawed by this special talent-
- Gold Medal in 10m air pistol event at the 1st Khelo India Games in New Delhi.
- 15 medals including 9 gold at the 61st National Shooting Championship in Thiruvanthapuram bating Heena Sidhu in the 10m air pistol final.
- 2 Gold medals in Individual and Team Events at ISSF World Cup in Mexico.
Another quality hat has shown through is her humbleness. “It just happens. I don’t think about them. At times I don’t even know what the records are. I am grateful to all my coaches for their advice and the hours they have put in to hone my technique,” Manu said. She however admitted that beating opponents does give her sporting pleasure. “Before shooting I was into boxing, thang ta – Manipuri martial art. I was playing those sports because I love bashing my opponents. I really enjoy it,” she said.
All eyes will be on the shy girl as she represents India at the Commonwealth Games 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia.