Deepak Dubey was delighted to see Manu Bhaker win her second gold medal at the ISSF Junior World Championships in Lima, Peru on Saturday.
National shooting coach, Deepak, is also the head of the junior rifle team and trains Tokyo Olympian Divyansh Parmar. He said Manu Bhaker’s return to form shows the grit and determination of the pistol shooter to become the best.
“I am just so happy for Manu Bhaker. She is doing really well here. Honestly, I am on cloud nine after seeing how India and Manu Bhaker have performed in the worlds. It is good news for shooting too,” he told Sportskeeda, exclusively from Lima.
Manu Bhaker won her second gold as part of the 10m air pistol mixed team event. In the absence of Saurabh Chaudhary, she partnered with Sarabjot Singh to beat the Indian pair of Shikha Narwal and Naveen. Manu Bhaker and Sarabjot Singh won 16-12 in the final.
Earlier in the qualification round featuring eight teams, both Indian pairs finished 1-2 as well. Manu Bhaker and Sarabjot Singh shot 386 while Shikha and Naveen were a point behind with 385.
Manu Bhaker’s had opened India’s gold medal tally. She finished at the top of the podium in the 10m air pistol women’s individual event. The youngster edged compatriot Esha Singh, 16, by 1.3 points in the finals to redeem herself after the disappointment at the Olympics.
India now leads the medal tally with 14 medals, including 6 golds, 6 silver and two bronze. Deepak feels the team will beat USA, who are packed with Olympic medallists, and will win the overall team trophy.
“We have just been so good. The USA has Olympic medallists in their team and despite that India performed so well especially under pressure. We will get the overall team trophy,” he said.
Other Indian medallists besides Manu Bhaker at ISSF Junior World Championships
The troika of Srikanth Dhanush, Rajpreet Singh and Paarth Makhija picked up the men's 10m air rifle team title. On Friday, the Indian shooters claimed gold in the women's skeet team event and a bronze in the men's skeet team finals.
The trio of Areeba Khan, Raiza Dhillon and Ganemat Sekhon finished at the top of the podium in the women's event after winning the final 6-0.
In the men’s events, the Indian team of Ayush Rudraraju, Rajveer Gill and Abhay Singh Sekhon won bronze medals after beating Turkey’s Ali Can Arabaci, Ahmet Baran and Muhammet Seyhun Kaya 6-0.
In the 10m air rifle team event, the troika of Rajpreet, Paarth and Srikanth beat a strong US team comprising reigning Olympic champion William Shaner, along with John Blanton and Rylan Kissel by 16-5.
India also won a silver medal when the pair of Atmika Gupta and Rajpreet Singh went down fighting US’s Shaner and Mary Carolyn Tucket in the 10m air rifle mixed team in 15-17.
Two other Indian teams in the 10m air rifle women and 10m air pistol men competitions had also reached the gold medal matches after their respective qualifying rounds.
Deepak feels this medal run by the rifle team shows the depth India has for the two marquee events -- the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games -- next year.
"The rilfe team here at the juniors have done so well. They will certainly be in contention for the senior team for next year's marquee events," he said.