Manu Bhaker created history by becoming India’s first woman to win gold medal at the Youth Olympic Games.
The 16-year-old, Manu, achieved this feat by winning gold in the women’s 10m air pistol at the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Manu, shot 236.5 to finish on top of the podium, making up for the heartbreak at the Asian Games and the World Championship where she could not live up to her billing.
“This is an important win for me. It will be a morale booster (after the Asian Games and World Championship disappointment) as I look forward with an aim to bring home more laurels,” Manu said after winning the gold.
Manu started well in the final and looked to be on course for the yellow metal till the 18th shot. She shot a 9.1 and 10.0 in her next two attempts and slipped to the second position but quickly regained the top position after the 22nd shot. In the last two shots, Manu fired a 10.1 and 10.2 to seal the gold with a margin of 0.6 point ahead of Russia’s Lana Enina. The bronze was won by Nino Khutsiberidze of Georgia with 214.6.
Earlier, Manu, who was India’s flag bearer at the opening ceremony, topped the qualification with a personal best score of 576.
Manu has won medals at all major competitions she has participated in this year barring the recent Asian Games. She won gold at the season opening ISSF World Cup in Guadalajara, gold at the ISSF Junior World Cups in Sydney and Suhl and then followed that up with a gold at the Commonwealth Games.
This is India’s third medal from shooting at the Games, after Shahu Mane and Mehuli Ghosh clinched silver medals in men’s and women’s 10m air rifle events, respectively.
Women’s 10m Air Pistol: 1. Manu Bhaker (India) 236.5 (576); 2. Lana Enina (Russia) 235.9 (569); 3. Nino Khutsiberidze (Georgia) 214.6 (565).