Amid shooting World Cup high, Manu Bhaker vows not to be bogged down by expectations
With her two gold medals at the ISSF World Cup in Mexico, Manu Bhaker is in the spotlight -- success in the senior level at the age of 16 could serve as a double-edged sword, but she is keen to not let the burden of expectations slow her down.other sports Updated: Mar 08, 2018 10:33 IST
It has only been just two years since Manu Bhaker took to shooting. The schoolgirl from Jhajjar, Haryana, was competing, and excelling, in a number of sports -- boxing, skating, wushu, karate, tennis, among others -- and participated in national level meets in some of these sports.
She finally settled on shooting as her true vocation shortly after taking it up in April 2016. And if her success at the ISSF World Cup in Mexico, at the age of 16, is anything to go by, Bhaker looks set for a promising career in the sport.
Competing against older and more experienced opponents, Bhaker clinched the 10m air pistol individual gold medal on Sunday. A day later, she partnered with Om Prakash Mitharval to win the 10m air pistol mixed team title.
Success in the senior level at the age of 16 could serve as a double-edged sword, but Bhaker is keen to not let the burden of expectations slow her down.
“It’s purely a mind game when it comes how you handle yourself after any form of success. My effort will be to not get bogged down by expectations. I will just continue to focus on my own game and try to keep improving it,” she said a day after winning the mixed team title.
Making her ISSF World Cup debut in Mexico, Bhaker said the lack of knowledge about her opponents helped her shoot without any pressure.
“I didn’t feel any pressure. When I went for the first event, I didn’t know any of my competitors. I think that helped me because I didn’t think about my opponents at all. My complete focus was on my own game,” she disclosed.
Mental preparation key
A 11th standard student of Universal Senior Secondary School in Jhajjar, Bhaker said she makes it a point to be mentally prepared before any event.
“My mental preparation for any tournament is always very good, and meditation is an important part of it. Apart from physical workouts, I meditate daily,” she said.
With the 25m pistol event left in the World Cup, Bhaker will be keen to end it with another high. The target after the Mexico tournament, she said, will be to keep getting better with every event.
“I have high expectations from myself from my upcoming events this year. The target for now will be to keep improving and do well consistently in these events.”
First Published: Mar 08, 2018 10:33 IST