Pune: Indian teenage shooting sensation and Youth Olympic Games champion Manu Bhaker, displayed immense mental strength and ability, to finish fourth in Women’s 10m air pistol final and seal seventh Tokyo 2020 Olympic quota for India at the ongoing ISSF World Cup Rifle/Pistol in Munich.
Just over 48 hours back on Monday, Manu had to endure the heartbreak of a weapon malfunction in the Women’s 25m Pistol final while leading the competition. She eventually was eliminated in fifth spot as a result.
On Wednesday, thee Day 4 of competitions, Manu first shot a solid 582 in her qualification relay to finish third overall and make it to the eight-woman final with ease.
She then kept within the top four throughout the length of the final and eventually bowed out fourth on a score of 201, her difference with eventual gold medalist and reigning Olympic and World Champion Anna Korakaki of Greece, a mere 0.1 points at that stage.
By then however, she had ensured India a seventh Tokyo 2020 quota place, given Anna and the bronze winning Korean Kim Minjung were not eligible from the start, having exhausted either their individual or country quotas in earlier competitions.
Manu therefore shared the two available quotas with the silver winning Chinese athlete Qian Wei. The gold winning score was 241.4, silver went at 239.6 while bronze was won at 220.8.
India have now picked up two Olympic quotas from the ongoing Munich World Cup as well as three gold medals to lead the medal tally with one more day to go for this third World Cup to conclude.
Manu’s teammates in the women’s 10m Air Pistol, Yashaswani Singh Deswal and Heena Sidhu finished in 22ndand 45thspots after having scores of 574 and 570 in qualifying respectively.
Meanwhile, India’s Sunidhi Chauhan gave a very good account of herself in the Women’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions (Women’s 3P) event, losing out on a maiden ISSF world cup finals berth on account of lesser inner 10s.
Needing to be among the top eight to qualify for the final, Sunidhi shot a creditable 1175 to tie on points with the 6th, 7th and 8th placed shooters, but Italian former world champion Petra Zublasing edged her out for the last spot, having 57-inner 10 counts to Sunidhi’s 51. It could not have been closer for the youngster from Bhopal, who is in her debut senior year.
Compatriots N. Gaayathri and Kajal Saini shot scores of 1162 and 1140 for 52nd and 70th position finishes respectively. Yulia Zykova of Russia won gold in the event.
In the Men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol, India’s Arpit Goel shot 577 to be the best placed Indian in qualifying. He finished 21st. Adarsh Singh shot to finish in 41st while Anish Bhanwala finished further back in 47th position with a score of 567.