Friday, April 26, 2019

Posted at: Oct 2, 2018, 2:01 AM; last updated: Oct 2, 2018, 2:01 AM (IST)

Manu, the chosen one

Will lead the Indian contingent at the Youth Olympics
Manu, the chosen one
Manu Bhaker

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 1

Manu Bhaker is on a roll. Only 16, she is one of the favourites to win a medal at the upcoming Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The favourite tag is justified as she has won several medals, including the gold in the 10m air pistol in the 2018 ISSF World Cup in Guadalajara, Mexico, gold at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Though she failed to reach the podium at the Asian Games in Jakarta, her qualification score of 593 in the 25m sports pistol event was a marker that has rarely been touched by any of the Indian shooters.

And sure enough the girl from Goria village in Jhajjar is tipped to win the gold at the Youth Olympics Games. The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has added another responsibility on her shoulders by announcing her as the flag bearer of the Indian contingent.

“I am extremely happy. It is a very big honour for me. I wasn’t expecting that I would be chosen to lead the contingent,” she told The Tribune on Monday. “It was a big surprise. When they announced my name, I was shocked. I hid my face… I can’t express the feeling,” she said.

‘What pressure?’

The serial winner denied that the honour of leading the side will add to the pressure. There are other things on her mind right now. Heading to the Games Village is one amongst a host of things she wants to accomplish in Buenos Aires. “There is no pressure on me. I think these Games will be very special and I want to enjoy and soak up the environment. I will try to perform and give my best but I don’t know whether I will get the medal or not. Other than that, I will try to have fun,” she said.

“I am told that the Games Village is on the beach so there is no need to go anywhere else. I am looking forward to it,” she added.

Her teammate Mehuli Ghosh, who will compete in the 10m air rifle competition, said she was proud to be part of the team. “All my friends, Manu, Saurabh Chaudhary and Shahu Mane are going to be there with me. And this time the whole contingent will be flying together. It will be some scene, all of us together in one plane!” she added.

Motivational lectures

In a break from the past, the IOA organised lectures for the Indian contingent as they were put through a clinic on various aspects, including nutrition, media interactions. Sports psychologist Dr Divya Jain, nutritionist Avni Kaul, Beijing Olympics bronze medal winner Vijender Singh and media professional G Rajaraman were called upon to help the young athletes deal with situations that may arise during their stay in Argentina.


All readers are invited to post comments responsibly. Any messages with foul language or inciting hatred will be deleted. Comments with all capital letters will also be deleted. Readers are encouraged to flag the comments they feel are inappropriate.
The views expressed in the Comments section are of the individuals writing the post. The Tribune does not endorse or support the views in these posts in any manner.
Share On