India’s teen shooting sensation Manu Bhaker grabbed the women’s 10m air pistol gold medal by shattering the games record while Heena Sidhu staged a stirring comeback to bag silver at the 21st Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast on 08 April 2018.
The 16-year-old Bhaker’s calm demeanour belied her age as she shot a record 240.9 to finish well ahead of her senior teammate Sidhu, who aggregated 234 at the Belmont Shooting Centre. A dominant Bhaker led throughout the two stages in her maiden Commonwealth Games outing, living up to the billing.
The bronze medal went to Australia’s Elena Galiabovitch who ended with 214.9. Bhaker was the overwhelming favourite to win the event, having bagged multiple gold medals at the 2018 ISSF World Cup in Guadalajara, Mexico and the subsequent Junior World Cup in Sydney. The event in Mexico was also a maiden appearance for the young girl from the Jhajjar district in Haryana.
Bhaker set the tempo when she recorded 101.5 at the end of first stage, leaving the others to play catch up for the rest of the finals. Her concentration was unwavering and she held her nerve all through to continue her golden run. Shooting happened to her by chance after a brush with contact sports and for someone who took to the sport just a little over two years ago, winning with such consistency would easily qualify as some achievement