The shooter will be having three shots at an Olympic medal in Tokyo. At the last competition before the Tokyo Games, the Osijek World Cup, Manu reached finals of 10m air pistol and 25m sports pistol events and won silver in 10m air pistol mixed team.
The Jhajjar girl is ranked world No. 2 in the 10m air pistol and No. 7 in 25m sports pistol, while her record of five World Cup gold and a silver in 10m air pistol mixed team event with Saurabh Chaudhary since 2019 speaks for itself.
As the shooters reached the Games Village on Saturday, Manu said she was happy to have finally reached Tokyo.
“I really like the village. It’s been a long wait and I am very happy and excited to be here. I will rest for the first two days and get acclimatised with the timing here. I will walk around the Village and explore it before starting my training,” Manu told TOI.
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The Indian shooters trained in Croatia for almost two months, and the Youth Olympic Games gold medallist said she was satisfied with the preparations.
“The camp in Croatia was good. We got all that we needed to prepare. With all our coaches and support staff with us, we could train to our heart’s content. I am satisfied with the camp and my preparation. At the Osijek World Cup, I had focussed on my technique and the results were satisfactory. I have a lot more clarity about my shooting now and I am happy with my progress,” she added.
The former world No. 1 shooter said postponement of the Games and things in general were tough last year. However, she has more positives to count than delve over the negatives.
“Last year was difficult for all, but it was also a much-needed break for us. I took some time off shooting and then once things started stabilising around September, I got back slowly. I got a pet around that time and we as a family spent a lot of time together, which otherwise doesn’t happen due to our busy schedule,” Manu said.
The young shooter has started training under coach Ronak Pandit since the last two months.
“I am very happy working with Ronak sir. He clears the doubts I have and keeps things simple. During the training sessions, we found some areas of improvement in my technique and are working on it,” Manu said.
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‘She is mentally tough’
Manu’s coach Ronak, meanwhile, said the teenager has a lot of strength and she is learning to channelise it better.
“There’s a lot of strength in her, and she’s learning to channelise it. We don’t need to do much other than learning to remain unperturbed in unforeseen conditions. She understands the need for it and is working hard to control her mind and self-regulate it,” Ronak told TOI.
On her not winning individual medals after making it to the finals in Osijek, Ronak said medals are just a matter of time.
“Though sport is now scientific, you still need to experiment a bit to figure out what works best for you under the given situations. We have worked on her finals and I am very optimistic about her future. She is shooting well, and her qualification scores are excellent. Medal-winning performances are just a matter of time,” he added.