On debut, teenaged Manu Bhaker shoots gold, Heena Sindhu silver


Manu Bhaker of India, center, poses with the gold medal, accompanied by silver medalist Sidhu Heena of India, left, and bronze medalist Elena Galiabovitch of Australia, right.(Photo: AP)

Gold Coast, April 8: At her maiden Commonwealth Games, teenage shooting prodigy Manu Bhaker has underlined her immense potential by winning gold in the women’s 10m air pistol event at Gold Coast, Australia while the seasoned campaigner Heena Sidhu has taken silver.
Bhaker, a 16-year-old shooting sensation from Haryana, put in a tremendous performance on Sunday morning at the Belmont Shooting Centre as he held her own against older and more experienced shooters, firing a total of 240.9, a Commonwealth Games record. The 28-year-old Sidhu – recipient of the Times of India Sports Awards (TOISA) Shooter of the Year award in February – stormed back from the face of elimination in stunning manner to claim silver with a total effort of 234.
In the final, both Indian shooters were captivating to watch. Bhaker’s concentration was unwavering and her ability to hold her nerve all through punctuated her mental fortitude. As the competition was whittled down, Bhakur fired 10, 10.3, 10.6 and then a sensational 10.9 to put herself into the lead, taking her total well past Sidhu and Australia’s Elene Galiabovitch who took bronze with an effort of 214.9.
Bhaker’s final shot was 10.4, which confirmed her gold at the tender age of 16.
Not one to be shaken, Heena held her composure to mound a stirring comeback with shots of 10.3 and 10.2 as the competition was eliminated one by one. A final run of 10.1, 10.1, 9.1 and 9.7 saw her finish second. (TNN)