Tokyo: India’s 10m air pistol shooter, 19-year-old Manu Bhaker, had suffered a major equipment malfunction, which probably cost her a place in the finals of the event at the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday, according to the country’s pistol coach Ronal Pandit.
Manu had a superb round of 98/100 in the opening series following which her pistol malfunctioned. The more than 18-minute delay due to the pistol snag put her under time pressure, resulting in the champion shooter hurrying her shots and missing the bullseye.
Following the setback, Manu shot three consecutive poor series of 95, 94, 95, before she regained her composure somewhat to fire a 98 in the penultimate series. In the sixth and final series of the qualification round, she again shot a sub-par 95 to finish 12th and missed the finals cut, managing only 575/600.
Elaborating on the incident coach Pandit said, “The cocking lever of the weapon broke after 16 shots. We had to get it changed. She had 44 shots remaining in 56 minutes and then when we started, it was 44 shots in 38 minutes.
“To change the lever, the grip and the trigger circuit has to be removed. They were put back but then the circuit would not work so we had to change that again. She was placed fourth when all this happened and by the time she resumed, others were in their fourth series while she was still on her second. No extra time is allowed according to the rules and the pressure at the end was too much. We are proud of the way she shot today,” added Pandit.
The other Indian shooter in the event, Yashaswini Deswal also fought hard, but she too dropped four crucial points in the last five shots including an 8 for the 59th shot, to finish 13th in qualification.