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'Proud Of How She Shot,' Says Coach As Manu Puts Up Tough Fight Despite Setback

Indian pistol coach Ronak Pandit explains what gun malfunction Manu Bhaker had to deal with in Sunday's qualifier.

Updated
Olympic Sports
2 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Manu Bhaker's gun malfunctioned in the qualification round of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. She could not qualify for the final.</p></div>
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India's 10m air pistol shooter, 19-year-old Manu Bhaker, had suffered a major equipment malfunction, which probably cost her a place in the finals of the event at the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday, according to the country's pistol coach Ronak Pandit.

Manu had a superb round of 98/100 in the opening series following which her pistol malfunctioned. The more than 18-minute delay due to the pistol snag put her under time pressure, resulting in the champion shooter hurrying her shots and missing the bullseye.

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Following the setback, the world number two shot three consecutive poor series of 95, 94, 95, before she regained her composure somewhat to fire a 98 in the penultimate series. In the sixth and final series of the qualification round, she again shot a sub-par 95 to finish 12th and missed the finals cut, managing only 575/600.

'Proud Of How She Shot,' Says Coach As Manu Puts Up Tough Fight Despite Setback

Elaborating on the incident coach Pandit said, "The cocking lever of the weapon broke after 16 shots. We had to get it changed. She had 44 shots remaining in 56 minutes and then when we started, it was 44 shots in 38 minutes.

"To change the lever, the grip and the trigger circuit has to be removed. They were put back but then the circuit would not work so we had to change that again. She was placed fourth when all this happened and by the time she resumed, others were in their fourth series while she was still on her second. No extra time is allowed according to the rules and the pressure at the end was too much. We are proud of the way she shot today," added Pandit.

As is always the case, every shooter is allowed to carry a spare gun while in competition but Manu, having used the gun she was competing with for years, chose instead to have parts of her spare gun used to fix hers. While fixing the trigger circuit would not have taken so much time and she would have returned to the qualification round in time, the second issue, with the grip, left Manu in a fix since by then she didn't have a spare gun to pick up and return to competition and just had to wait it out for the time it took to fix hers. Time that eventually stretched out to be 18 minutes.

The other Indian shooter in the event, Yashaswini Deswal also fought hard, but she too dropped four crucial points in the last five shots including an 8 for the 59th shot, to finish 13th in qualification.

(With inputs from IANS)

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