Exposure to world class competitions help to handle pressure, says Manu Bhaker

Indian shooter Manu Bhaker has had a stellar start to her career winning gold medals at the recent Commonwealth Games, and at the World Cups at junior and senior levels.

Manu Bhaker became the first Indian shooter to win gold at the Commonwealth Games in the 2018 edition in April.   -  PTI


Young and impressionable, the world beating Manu Bhaker handled the stage with aplomb as she launched her first product as a brand ambassador in the Capital on Wednesday.

The 16-year-old Manu who has caught the imagination of the youth of the country by winning the Commonwealth Games gold recently in Gold Coast after having accomplished the bigger tasks of winning the World Cup gold medals both at the senior and junior levels was at ease in
handling the tricky questions from the media.

It was not an easy task, launching a sanitiser, Pee Safe, for toilet seats, but Manu was on target as she said that it was handy to use in aeroplanes, train journeys, hotels etc.

She was quick in saying that there was not much difference to the sporting infrastructure in the country, especially at the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range, where most of the training is conducted, both in terms of quality of equipment as well as standard of hygiene.

Swinging to questions on her shooting with equal ease, Manu insisted that it was important to have constant world class exposure to international competition both at the junior and senior levels, so that she could keep getting better.

"It helps in dealing with pressure regularly", said Manu, who will be competing in the World Cups, World Championship, Youth Olympics, thanks to her ability to get entry in both the junior and senior sections, despite severe competition.

She may have conquered the world, but Manu said that she was looking forward to the competition in Asian Games, which could be a lot different to the Commonwealth Games.

"Nobody will bring the medals to you. You have to go and win them at every level. Asian Games will have different countries", Manu said, in her inimitable style.

National junior coach Jaspal Rana, a stickler for discipline, came for high praise from Manu as she said, "He insists strong discipline, punctuality, proper diet, good behaviour in our interaction with seniors. Basically, he wants perfection in everything we do", said Manu.

Despite the dream start to her international career, after she had won 15 medals including 11 gold in the last National championship, Manu conceded that one cannot be winning all the time.

"The true character of the person comes out only when they get up from a fall", she said, jumping to her favourite Haryanvi Hindi.

Of course, with her parents running schools in Haryana, there has been no dearth of quality education for Manu, who intends to pursue medical after school, and she was fluent with her communication both in English and Hindi, answering to the point, without attempting to
hold anything back.

While the founders of the company Vikas Bagaria and Dheeraj Jain stressed the growing importance of avoiding Urinary tract infection (UTI), which afflicted 80 per cent of women at some stage in their life, Manu said that she was carrying the spray in her bag, even before she signed her first contract.

Manu was clear that she would not be just the face of the brand, but convey the message for better health of the society.

Asked about her secret of success, Manu said that apart from sound technique which was her focus not the results, good home food was the key.

About the status of the girls in Haryana, Manu said that she only found them being treated better than the boys.

"The girls have very good facilities now, and sometimes it is better than the boys", she said.

Emphasising that she took up shooting because it was "no injuries, and no cheating", Manu revealed that she had tried many sporting activities from skating, basketball, karate etc., before settling for a sport that has shot her to global fame.

"I told her that a pistol would cost a lot of money and I would buy it only if she promised to stick to the sport for two years. She promised only one year", said Manu’s father, Ram Kishan Bhaker, who was categorical that the sport would be her choice.