NEW DELHI: Tokyo Olympics hopeful Manu Bhaker on Sunday left for Bhopal to continue her practice at MP State Shooting Academy during the time the capital’s Dr. Karni Singh range will be occupied with selection trials for rifle and shotgun shooters.
The 18-year-old pistol ace, a Commonwealth Games and Youth Olympics gold medallist, will train in Bhopal from January 4-10, before reporting for her selection trials here on January 11.
“She has left for Bhopal as she cannot train at the range in Tughlakabad as the selection trials for rifle and shotgun shooters will be held there. And her trails will run from January 11-16, so she left in order to continue her practice,” Manu’s father, Ram Kishan Bhaker, told PTI.
The champion markswoman had been training without a break for months now and will be attending a camp in New Delhi after the conclusion of the trials.
The camp is expected to run from January 30 to February 26, after six days of quarantine in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior to the upcoming trials, Manu had been practicing non-stop at the Karni Singh range after attending a full-fledged camp at the same venue, which got over on December 17.
“If she has to succeed at the Tokyo Olympics, she knows she cannot afford to miss a single day’s practice, and so the non-stop training,” Ram Kishan said of her daughter who competes in 10m and 25m pistol.
Before the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) had resumed its camps after the coronavirus-forced hiatus, Manu had been training at her makeshift range at her home in Haryana.
She had installed an electronic target there in place of an archaic manual machine that was breaking down frequently and hampering her Olympics preparation.
Meanwhile, the core group of Indian shooters for the Tokyo Games will converge here on Tuesday for selection trials in rifle, pistol and shotgun events, after which teams for the year’s first two ISSF World Cups will be picked.
The selection trials will be conducted by the NRAI at the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range in Tughlakabad.
While the trials for shotgun will begin from Tuesday, the ones for rifle and pistol will start a day later.
The country’s top shooters are expected to be present at the trials.
“The performances of the shooters in the trials will be taken into consideration while selecting the teams for the first two World Cups, so it is very significant as the Tokyo Olympics are also scheduled this year,” an NRAI official said.
The selection trials will end on January 18.
The first World Cup (shotgun) is scheduled in Cairo from February 22 to March 5, with the second one Combined World Cup for rifle, pistol and shotgun slated to be held in New Delhi from March 18 to 29.