Teenager Manu Bhaker, added the Youth Olympic Games Women’s 10m Air Pistol Gold to a growing collection of gold medals, winning the event on day three of the Buenos Aires 2018 games with a score of 236.5, bettering silver-winning Russian Iana Enina, who shot 235.9. She thus became India’s first Youth Olympic Games Gold medalist in the sport of shooting.
This was India’s third medal from shooting in three days, with Shahu Mane and Mehuli Ghosh bagging silver medals on the first two days.
Manu first shot a solid 576 to top the qualification round and then was best out of the blocks in the final with four shots out of the first five in the 10s or above, which was unmatched by the field. She was 0.6 ahead of Iana and Anja Prezelj of Slovakia, who were in second and third respectively at that stage. After the second five shot series, Manu’s lead over the Russian was cut to 0.2 while the Thai girl Kanyakorn displaced the Slovak in third place.
Amazingly all three leaders shot a 9.8 for their 11th shot and all three again shot in the 9s for their 12th at which stage the Lithuanian Greta Rankelyte was the first to be eliminated in eighth place.
Manu then after being 1.5 clear at the top after the 14th shot had a series of seven scores in the 9s from the 11th to the 20th shot, to lose the lead to the fast improving Georgian Nino Khutsiberidze after the 20th shot by 0.1. But a poor 21st and 22nd shot by Nino meant that Manu went into the final two shots, 1.5 ahead of the Russian Iana, who after looking as if she would be eliminated without a medal, had fought back brilliantly.
But try as she might, Manu showed her finals class to close out with a pair of 10.1 and 10.2 to clinch yet another gold in a glittering career. This was India’s fifth medal overall at this edition of the Games.