Coronavirus outbreak | Manu Bhaker: This is no time for sport

Updated: Mar 23, 2020, 08:08 IST | PTI | New Delhi

India's ace pistol shooter Manu Bhaker wants postponement of all sporting events as world deals with Coronavirus; insists her Olympic preparations are not affected

India's teen pistol shooter Manu Bhaker. Pic/Getty Images
India's teen pistol shooter Manu Bhaker. Pic/Getty Images

Postponement of tournaments, cancellation of trials and camps hardly matter at this point to one of India's biggest young achievers in sport, Manu Bhaker, who is hoping to see the world win the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has cast serious doubts over the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games but teenager Bhaker, 18, a medal prospect at the quadrennial extravaganza, is currently not thinking about things that are beyond her control. "Trials, events should be postponed in current situation as there are other very important things for the world to deal with," Bhaker told PTI.

She says the shooters are abiding by the protocols and guidelines issued by the concerned authorities. "Altogether we are strictly following instructions of the health ministry and the guidelines of World Health Organisation." The pistol ace was one of the few shooters who have participated in a trial organised not long ago by the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI). The trial was arranged to allow the shooters register their scores after the postponement of the New Delhi ISSF World Cup and the Indian team's pull-out from the Cyprus World Cup owing to the Coronavirus outbreak.

"Camp situation was fine as only few shooters were there, there was no large gathering and it was for three days." Asked about the Olympics Games that are shrouded in uncertainty, Bhaker said she will look to carry on with her routine that is part of her preparation. "I am relaxed at home. The current situation doesn't affect my preparation and mindset. I am continuing with my yoga sessions, meditation and things that help me stay calm and composed.

The Olympics, whenever it happens, is huge, so we need to be prepared. I am preparing for the Olympic as planned. Shooting is very competitive now, especially 2019 and after, and it is evident from the scores," the Commonwealth Games and Youth Olympics gold medal- winner added. Bhaker, who secured an Olympic quota for India in the women's 10m air pistol event, enjoyed a successful season last year where she won five World Cup gold medals in individual and team events. She burst on to the national scene in 2018 with a victory at the ISSF World Cup in Mexico, and has not looked back since.

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