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Studies vs Passion : What is more important to Shooter Manu Bhaker

A day before the Tokyo-bound Indian shooting contingent hits the range for its first training session in Croatia, Bhaker’s pistol will give way to a pen and the shooting gear to her study materials, as she logs in for her BA fourth semester exam. Inside her hotel room in Croatian capital Zagreb, India’s Olympic medal hope Manu Bhaker is juggling shooting-related activities and studies.

A student of political science in the Delhi University’s prestigious Lady Shri Ram College for Women, the champion shooter’s exams start on May 18 while the European Championship in Osijek, in which the Indian team will compete as a guest invitee, begins two days later, from May 20. The continental tournament and Bhaker’s exams will run almost concurrently but she is relived that the dates of her events are not clashing with the papers.

According to the DU guidelines, sportspersons who have represented India in competitions, recognised and funded by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, are given direct admission without sports trial.

Along with the ammunition, shooting gear and coronavirus-related travel essentials, Bhaker travelled to Croatia with her books to prepare for the exams, and will send her answers using the mobile scanner after she has written them all.

The 19-year-old Bhaker has been selected for three events in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, scheduled to be held from July 23 to August 8.She will be fielded in both the women’s 25m pistol alongside the experienced Rahi Sarnobat, and in her pet 10m air pistol event with Yashaswini Singh Deswal.

Bhaker will also represent India in the mixed team 10m pistol along with Saurabh Chaudhary.After the continental event, the Indian shooters will compete in the ISSF World Cup, slated to be held in same city, Osijek, from June 22 to July 3.

The 13 Olympic-bound Indian shooters, seven coaches, five physios and a two-member video crew landed in Zagreb in a chartered flight on Tuesday, after which they were received by the Croatian shooting federation and the country’s world number three rifle shooter Peter Gorsa.


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