Uncluttered is what makes one unhindered – that’s the philosophy 16-year-old Manu Bhaker follows when she takes aim for gold at shooting ranges, the latest in her collection being the Commonwealth Games 10m air pistol top prize.
The Haryana girl, who is making waves in Indian shooting, broke the Games record (240.9) at the Belmont Shooting Centre on Sunday, way ahead of nearest competition, which happened to be compatriot and eventual silver-medallist Heena Sidhu (234). Her gold medal opened India’s CWG account in shooting.
“It just happened, I only worked on my technique, rest just happened,” said Bhaker after adding to her collection of gold medals from the senior and junior World Cups. “Shooting is an uncomplicated sport, take aim and shoot. That’s why it’s important not to think too much. If you think too much, then it becomes complex,” she added.
Bhaker, who is the youngest Indian to claim a World Cup gold, chose to unwind with a game of table tennis after returning to the Games Village and when asked whether she was expecting the record-shattering performance, merely broke into a soft giggle.
“I had been working on my technique for a long time. I just got that right, rest is a result of that. I didn’t have any targets for today. I was just shooting, I am just happy,” she said. “In fact I never set myself targets, what’s the point of that? Ultimately your technique has to work, it worked for me today,” she added.
Asked whether being under the spotlight played on her mind, she came up with another philosophical response. “As I said, the more you think, the more things become complex. So it’s never a good idea to think too much. Just do the best you can and forget about everything else,” she said.
Done with her CWG campaign, the shooter, who once dabbled in boxing, said she is now looking ahead to the World Cup in Korea from April 20. “There is no time to celebrate, tomorrow I go back to my training for the World Cup. No breathing space there,” she said.