Youth Olympics: Manu Bhaker sizzles, archers Akash and Himani return with good rankings

Manu Bhaker won the silver medal in the mixed international team air pistol event. In the final, Manu and Bezhan were beaten 10-3 by Vanessa Seeger of Germany and Kiril Kirov of Bulgaria.

A file image of Manu Bhaker.   -  Getty Images

Women’s air pistol gold medallist Manu Bhaker gave a resounding finish to her campaign in the Youth Olympics as she partnered Bezhan Fayzullaev of Tajikistan to the silver medal in mixed international team air pistol competition on Friday.

In the final, Manu and Bezhan were beaten 10-3 by Vanessa Seeger of Germany and Kiril Kirov of Bulgaria.

After the two gold and two silver medals by the four-member team in individual events, this was a bonus for the exceptional shooting squad, which had won gold through Saurabh Chaudhary and the silver medals through Shahu Tushar Mane and Mehuli Ghosh.

The 16-year-old Manu had shot 385 in the first phase of qualification to 366 by her partner to help the team qualify in the fifth place for the knock-out phase.

In contrast, Saurbah Chaudhary shot 384, but 354 from his Pakistan partner Nubaira Babur saw the team ranked 15th.

In the first phase of knock-out, Saurabh and Nubaira were beaten 10-3 by the second placed Marjana Matea Strbac of Croatia and Abdul-Aziz Kurdzi of Belarus.

Manu and Bezhan qualified for the quarterfinals with a10-4 victory over Kanyakorn Hirunphoem of Thailand and Omar Abdelfatah of Egypt.

In the quarterfinals, Manu and Bezhan beat Greta Rankelyte of Lithuania and Kirill Usanli of Moldova 10-8.

In the semifinals the Indo-Tajik pair beat Miranda Ibarra of Mexico and Dmytro Honta of Ukraine 10-3.

It has been a phenomenal season for Manu who won three gold medals in the women’s and junior World Cups before the Commonwealth Games gold. She did miss medals in the Asian Games and World Championships, but has emphasised her class in the Youth Games with a gold and silver.

Walker Suraj Panwar second in first stage

Suraj Panwar turned out to be lucky in the men’s 5000m walk on the opening day of athletics at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires on Thursday.

The Uttarakhand walker was initially third in the event’s first stage but with the winner, Medoco's Cesar Fernandez, suffering a 30 second penalty later for loss of contact which pushed him to fifth, Suraj was upgraded to second.

He clocked a personal best 20:23.30s as he finished behind Ecuador’s Oscar Patin (20:13.69), the first stage winner.

The results in the walk, like the middle distance and sprint races, will be combined across two stages to decide the medallists.

The second stage will be held on Monday.

Meanwhile, Seema was 14th in the women’s 3000m first stage in 10:03.34s.

Srihari Natraj sixth in first heat

Swimmer Srihari Natraj failed to qualify for the finals of the men’s 200m backstroke after finishing sixth in Heat 1 with a timing of 2:04.80, which was overall 13th best. Only eight best made it to the final.

Going for the bullseye

Indian archers -- Akash and Himani -- were consistent with their shots to earn good rankings in individual events.

Himani finished third in the women’s recurve individual ranking event while Akash was placed fifth in the men’s recurve individual event with 679 points.