Manu Bhaker: I'd like to compete in 10m & 25m air pistol at Tokyo Olympics

Manu Bhaker, who won gold in the women's 10m air pistol at the World Cup finals, talks about what she would look to do at Olympics if given a preference.

Manu Bhaker says she gives 'equal importance' to the 10m and 25m air pistol events.   -  Getty Images

Mental preparedness will be key to handling pressure in the Olympics, according to Manu Bhaker, who on Wednesday said she would love to shoot in both the 10m and 25m pistol events at the Games, provided she makes the final squad.

Last month, the 17-year-old Manu fired her way to the gold medal with a junior world record in the women’s 10m air pistol event of the World Cup Finals in Putian, ending the year’s international commitments on a rousing note.

Now she is all geared up for the biggest sporting event of all.

“It all depends on the selection of the team. I can’t say anything on that right now. But if you are asking me about my preference, of course I would look to shoot in both 10m and 25m, as I give equal importance to both events and my scores in 25m is not bad at all,” Manu told PTI during an interview.

The ace shooter added:“I may not have won in 25m but my scores are good there also.”

Read: India's Olympic-bound shooters happy to put monetary gains aside for the country

Manu was leading throughout the 25m air pistol final of the Munich World Cup until an equipment malfunction dashed her hopes. However, she came back strongly to secure the Olympic quota in the 10m event the following day, though she missed out on a medal by 0.1 point.

“I am preparing in earnest. Though Olympic is at the back of my mind, I am not taking too much load thinking about it. That will not help. I need to be mentally more stable, we all are working on the mental aspect of the game as it holds key in an events of such magnitude. We need to be mentally fit to handled the pressure of such events,” she said.

Though she has not really set the stage ablaze in the individual events, Manu has won the mixed events in all four World Cups in 2019, besides the World Cup Final glory in China. She is satisfied with her performance.

“This was one of my best years and I would look to continue in the same fashion in the coming months.

“I would not say I had a better year compared to 2018 but I definitely believe I had a great year for sure. I achieved a lot, my scores were better this year.”

Manu said she didn’t pay attention to the criticism and trolling that would follow a bad result. She would rather focus on her shooting and scores.

On the Khelo India programme that is in its second edition, she said it provides a great platform to those who are aspiring to show their mettle but don’t get recognition.

“This is very helpful for the emerging stars of the country, they get the recognition and platform to show their talent,” Manu said.

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