Touted as the country's hottest medal prospects at the Youth Olympics, 16 year-old shooter Manu Bhaker has lived up to her billing by claiming India's second gold medal in the 10m pistol event. Earlier in the day, weightlifter Jeremy Lalrinnunga opened India's medal gold medal account by claiming top honours in the men’s 62kg category.
Manu Bhaker had strolled through the qualifications round with ease, but was made to toil hard in the final round. She had slipped midway through the round, but held her nerves to clinch gold with a score of 236.5. Russia's Enina went tooth and nail with the Indian finishing second with a score of 235.9. By doing, she has become India's first female athlete to win the yellow metal at the Youth Olympics.
The shooter from Haryana rose to prominence after winning her first medal at the 2017 Asian Junior Championship. Continuing her exploits, she won 9 gold medals at the 2017 Kerala national Games, with the highlight of her outing being defeating World Cup medallist Heena Sidhu.
At the 2018 Commonwealth Games, which were held at Gold Coast, Australia, Manu Bhaker made India proud by winning the gold in women's 10 m air pistol at an age of 16. She scored 388/400 points in the qualifying round and secured a gold by setting a new record at the CWG of 240.9 points.
Given her achievements at such a young age, Manu Bhaker was given the honour of being India's flag-bearer at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Youth Olympics, which was held on streets of Buenos Aires. Now, after her recent feat she has repaid the confidence of her coaches by ensuring the country's flag was flying high.
In other events, India's budding paddlers Archana Kamath and Manav Thakkar won their respective singles matches of the group stage. Kamath beat Malaysia’s Javen Choong 4-2 while Thakkar defeated Slovakia’s Aleksandra Vovk 4-1. Even the Indian hockey team produced a clinical show as the they thrashed Austria 9-1.
Though, India's rising badminton sensation Lakshya Sen was made to toil hard against Danylo Bosniuk in the first game before he regained his composure to overcome the Ukrainian 23-21, 21-8. The country is being represented by 47 athletes at the ongoing Games, its biggest ever contingent.