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Sep 20, 2018-Thursday
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INDIA AT ASIAN GAMES 2018
  • gold15
  • silver24
  • bronze30
  • Total69

Asian Games 2018: Jaspal Rana critical of Manu Bhaker’s temperament after shooter fumbles in mixed pistol event

As junior India pistol coach Jaspal Rana made his way out of the 10m range after his most consistent ward failed to fire, the former shooter and winner of four Asian Games gold — three of them at the 2006 Doha Asian Games — was quick to deflect the criticism on Manu Bhaker.

asian games 2018 Updated: Aug 19, 2018 18:43 IST
Ajai Masand
Ajai Masand
Palembang
asian games,manu bhaker,jaspal rana
Indian shooter Manu Bhaker competes in the 10m air pistol qualification round in Palembang on Sunday.(PTI)

‘Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan’. It wouldn’t be misplaced to use the axiom in the context of the below-par performance of Manu Bhaker and Abhishek Verma in their favourite event, the 10m air pistol mixed team event, where the duo failed to make it to the finals on Sunday.

As junior India pistol coach Jaspal Rana made his way out of the 10m range after his most consistent ward failed to fire, the former shooter and winner of four Asian Games gold — three of them at the 2006 Doha Asian Games — was quick to deflect the criticism on Bhaker.

No sooner had the duo been eliminated in the qualification round that Rana started blaming the Jhajjar girl’s fragile temperament for the loss. “She (Manu Bhaker) needs to control her temperament. The kind of attitude she has needs to be improved (sic). Anger will not help her in any way. She just gave up,” said Rana, as Bhaker made her way to the rest room without speaking to the waiting media.

“She kept shooting 9.8s and 9.9s which is not good at this level. There was plenty of time for her to relax and take her shots.... the temperament needs to change,” said Rana.

One might never know what transpires between the two after the forgettable performance, but certainly the veteran marksman would have done better than to deride a champion shooter at a time when she was really low on morale.

For the first time in more than a decade, the conviviality in the Indian team is missing. No longer are teammates, usually seen sitting in the front rows, egging on their compatriots during competitions or coaches engaging in animated conversations with their wards.

This contingent is a pale shadow of itself, which till the last Asian Games cheered Abhinav Bindra as he walked into sunset or which sought guidance from a certain Gagan Narang before a match.

A lot has changed in the last four years. Coaches don’t interact even though they stay next door in the Athletes’ Village. They come to the ranges with their wards and leave without bothering what the other shooters are doing.

A dismal scenario considering these sportspersons and coaches are here to ensure India returns with its best-ever medals haul from the Games.

First Published: Aug 19, 2018 18:24 IST