Indian shooting ace Manu Bhaker is “very hopeful” of the Olympics taking place next year as well as maintaining her level for the mega event, despite the uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A medallist at the ISSF World Cup, Commonwealth Games and the Youth Olympics, Bhaker was looking forward to competing in Tokyo this year.

“Yes, the Indian shooters were in great form heading into the Games, but health is a bigger concern,” said Bhaker.

“I am very hopeful of the Olympics taking place next year and also confident of maintaining my game and hitting peak form there. This is a difficult time for the world but I have no negative thoughts and I am mentally prepared.”

Bhaker recently got an electronic target system installed at her makeshift shooting range in her home in Haryana’s Goria village at the expense of an archaic manual machine that was prone to frequent breakdowns. The old machine was causing her “immense irritation” of late.

Delighted by the reboot in her training after waiting for the machine to be transported from Faridabad, the youngster has got down to preparing with renewed vigour and optimism.

“I have recently got the machine installed at my home and this will be surely more beneficial in my training,” she said.

Bhaker thanked the Sports Authority of India and the Olympic Gold Quest, the organisation that manages her, for promptly getting the machine delivered at her home despite the nationwide lockdown.

“I was facing lost of issues with the old machine as it was manual. The thread would come off and it would often break down. Now it’s very different with the new machine,” said the 18-year-old. “Since it is unlikely that there will be any outdoor action and competitions for another three-four months, I thought it will be useful to get this installed at this point in time.”

The target HS10 machine from Swiss company SIUS Ascor is designed for all airguns for a distance ranging from 10 to 20 meters.

Some of the salient features of the machine are its accuracy, integrated high-intensity LED target illumination, low operating costs (no paper rolls/rubber rolls) and its suitability for outdoor shooting.