NewDelhi : She returned empty-handed from the Asian Games but Manu Bhaker Sunday said she delivered a career-best performance in Palembang with the record-shattering qualifying score of 593 in 25m pistol event. Considered the most promising among India’s Gen-Next shooter, Bhaker won gold and silver in 10m air pistol individual and mixed event at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires recently, overcoming the Asiad disappointment.
Asked how difficult it was to shrug off the Asiad show before Youth Olympics, Bhaker said: “On the contrary, I would say Asian Games served as a huge morale-booster. I shot 593 in 25m pistol event (qualifying) which I believe is my best performance till date. A score like 593 doesn’t happen everyday. “I don’t think I ever shot better than that qualifying round. Yes, I missed out on a medal but that 593 is like a benchmark for me.
When I need inspiration, that performance serves as a morale-booster,” 16-year-old said at the sidelines of the IOA felicitation function for the Youth Olympics medallists. Bhaker rates her Youth Olympic medal as one of the major highs of her career considering the level of competition. “It feels fantastic to win gold for India. To see the tri-colour flying itself is a matter of pride. Each and every competition has helped me evolve as a shooter,” shesaid. “This is my debut year in international events and I am only gaining experience. But I still want to remain a kid,” said Bhaker.