Online Shooting Championship: Manu Bhaker to return for third edition

Manu Bhaker had missed the last chapter of the tournament after her manual paper target lately started throwing up errors.

Manu Bhaker during a training session at home with her new electronic target.   -  special arrangement

Teenage shooting sensation Manu Bhaker will be back for the third edition of the Online Shooting Championship that will take place on Saturday.

The 18-year-old had missed the last chapter of the tournament conducted by professional marksman Shimon Sharif after her manual paper target lately started throwing up errors. "The default thread was replaced with a different one and the makeshift plan wasn't working," said the 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medalist.

Bhaker's previous target has now been replaced by SIUS Ascor's HS10, an electronic target compatible with air guns, which is used at ISSF-supervised competitions.

“Thanks to the efforts of the Olympic Gold Quest programme and the Sports Authority of India, I could get my target delivered home from Faridabad," said Bhaker, who could be competing in three events in the Tokyo Olympics next year.

READ: Second edition of online shooting championship on April 25

Organiser Sharif confirmed that besides Bhaker, the contest will have four more Olympic quota holders lined up. Not just that, it will also see 2012 Olympics bronze medallist in 10m air rifle, Gagan Narang, join as a special guest. "We will be seeing Yashaswini Singh Deswal participate for the first time. We will also have the privilege of hosting Veronika (Major) and Divyansh (Singh Panwar) again. Gagan (Narang) is coming, as well."

Promising Indian teenager Ayushi Poddar, who was in the team for the now-cancelled Delhi World Cup, will also be vying for the podium place. There will additionally be new participants from countries like Russia and Latvia. "Russia's Daria Sirotkina, who won a gold medal at the European Championship in the junior mixed 10m air pistol event and Anatolijs Griskjans have also signed up," confirmed Sharif.

READ: Indian shooters were at their peak before COVID-19: Bhaker

Sharif added that he had tried to rope in Saurabh Chaudhary, Abhishek Verma and Apurvi Chandela but they all were unable to sign up owing to different reasons. "I spoke at length with Saurabh's brother and turns out he doesn't have any Internet in his village. Owing to the lockdown, there is nothing that he can do now to get it either. Abhishek is in Chandigarh and his equipments are locked up somewhere else. Apurvi's father, meanwhile, told me she isn't keeping well," said Sharif.

Mehuli Ghosh will be giving this edition a miss too since her SCATT system hasn't been fixed yet.