ISSF Junior Shooting World Cup: Manu Bhaker wins 2 gold medals for India
Teenager Manu Bhaker nailed her second World Cup Gold medal inside a month, winning the Junior Women’s 10m Air Pistol gold at the ongoing International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Junior World Cup Rifle/Pistol/Shotgun in Sydney, Australia.
She did a double on the day, winning the Team Gold in the event as well with compatriots Devanshi Rana, who missed out on an individual medal placing fourth in the final, and Mahima Turhi Agrawal to end an amazing month for herself and extend a golden six month or so period of excellent performances.
Just 20 days back, the girl from Jhajjar, Haryana, created waves across the Shooting world by winning the Senior World Cup gold at the same 10m Air Pistol Olympic event, in her senior team debut. She then traversed across the globe via India to shoot this Gold in the Junior World Cup.
This comes after the Asian Championships Silver last year in Japan to secure a Youth Olympics quota for her country and nine Golds at the Shooting Nationals, all in the span of six months.
On Saturday, competition day four of the Junior World Cup, Manu qualified second with a score of 570 behind a Thai girl who was in great form throughout the day- Kanyakom Hirunphoem was a clear six points at the top with 576. Also Kanyakom, even though still a junior, was a far more experienced than Manu, having represented her country in the Asian Games at Incheon, way back in 2014.
She shot off the blocks very strong in the final as well and appeared to be peaking just at the right time, when she edged ahead of Manu at the end of the 20th shot of the 24-shot final. The duo was well clear of the chasing pack of six from the very onset of the final. At the end of the 22nd shot, Kanyakom was a point clear of Manu and had 0.9 to defend on the last shot. Manu shot a 9.8 while Kanyakom faltered with a 7.9 to seal the deal for the Indian champion. Manu finished with 235.9 to Kanyakom’s 234.9 while Kaiman Liu of China won Bronze with 214.2.
After briefly being in contention for the Bronze, India’s Devanshi Rana finished fourth with a finals score of 195.3. The trio of Manu, Devanshi and Mahima logged a combined 1693 to win the Team Gold ahead of China (Silver with 1681) and Thailand (bronze with 1673).
India also picked up a further one Gold, two Silvers and two Bronze medals in the day to finish with five Gold, two Silvers and five Bronze medals in total, just behind China who have six Golds.
India won the Team Gold in the Junior Men’s 10m Air Pistol when the trio of Gaurav Rana, Anmol Jain and Arjun Singh Cheema won Gold with a combined effort of 1718. Gaurav and Anmol also won Silver and Bronze in the individual event. Gaurav shot 233.9 in the individual final to finish well behind China’s Zhehao Wang who shot 242.5 for Gold. Anmol Jain shot 215.1 to settle for Silver. A second Indian team comprising of Anhad Jawanda, Abhishek Arya and Adarsh Singh also won Bronze in the event with a combined effort of 1675.
India’s second Silver medal of the day and of the tournament till now, came in the Mixed Team Trap event where Manisha Keer partnered Ali Aman Elahi to win the Silver with a score of 34 out of 50 hits in the final. The Gold went to the Italian pair of Petroni and Sessa who hit 38 birds in the final. China won Bronze.