Teenage shooting sensations aim for gold

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 19 Aug 2018 10:40:50



TEENAGE prodigies Anish Bhanwala, Manu Bhaker and Elavenil Valarivan will carry India’s medal hopes in the shooting event of the Asian Games beginning here on Sunday, and standing in their way will be the mighty Chinese and South Koreans. Bhanwala and Bhaker, who are 15 and 16 respectively, stormed into the limelight with a gold in the 25m rapid fire pistol and 10m air pistol respectively at Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

But the competition at CWG is much easier than Asian Games and it remains to be seen how they perform under severe pressure. While India won seven gold medals at Gold Coast, the country has managed the same number of gold medals in the history of the Asian Games. Only four shooters have won an Asiad gold – Jaspal Rana, Ronjan Sodhi, Randhir Singh and Jitu Rai.

Rana, who is now a coach and is here with the Indian team, has already talked about the unnecessary attention on the youngsters though he is not ruling out their medal chances.
Bhaker will be in action on the opening day alongside Abhishek Verma in the pistol mixed team event. Her maturity belies her tender age as she has already tasted success at the highest level, winning two gold medals at the Guadalajara World Cup in March before stepping on the top of the podium at Gold Coast.