Thu, 21 Sep 2023

By Vivek Prabhakar SinghNew Delhi [India], September 18 (ANI): Olympian and Indian shooter Manu Bhaker said that her reunion with coach Jaspal Rana is a "step ahead" in her career and she is looking forward to the Asian Games.

Asian Games in Hangzhou, China will start from September 23 and will go on till October 8. Shooting events will be held from September 24 to October 1 and will feature 33 Indian players.

"I am really excited about the event and looking forward to it. Big events like the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, World Championships give me butterflies in my stomach. I am really nervous and looking forward to how I will perform there," Manu told ANI on Sunday.

On reunion with her coach Jaspal Rana, a legendary shooter himself, Manu said, "I realised that chances of my best performances lie with him and we are re-united, we are stronger together. It will help me now or in future. I have placed a request that he accompany me to major events, let us see what happens. It is a step ahead in my career. He is not with the team though (for Asian Games). Authorities are assuring that they will do something about it."She enjoyed a solid reign with Rana as a coach, which includes a CWG 2018 gold and multiple International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup medals, as per Olympics.com.

She said that her hunger for the medal is even more after shooting was exempted from CWG games last year and preparation has been going on well.

"The preparation has been going well. I have been working with my coach, Jaspal Rana. The team coaches are cooperating. Kalikesh sir has been helpful, and been there for every trouble or situation. We have this camp ending on the 19th of September," she said.

Talking about the Paris Olympics 2024 and her preparations to win a quota for it, she said, "During the last cycle, the experience was different due to COVID-19 and lockdown. We had to go to different places to train. This time it is going to be Delhi or Bhopal, it is going to be same, familiar atmosphere before we leave for Paris. We are looking forward to quota events, Asian Championships. The preparation for the Olympics will start as soon as we get a quota. But my preparations are already on the way."Rudrankkash Patil, another shooter with Paris 2024 quota in the 10 metre air rifle men's event, said that he is excited about the Asian Games.

"I am excited to play Asian Games because it is a major event. Players from other sports are also coming. I am really looking forward to it," he said.

The shooter said that the major focus for him is process and growth as a shooter. "For me, the major focus has been process. I want to grow as a shooter. All accomplishments are just coming in. Growth is my focus for the Asian Games."Ashi Choksey, another rifle shooter said that this will be her first Asian Games.

"This will be my first Asian Games. The last Asian Games happened when I had just started shooting," she said.

The shooter is excited and more hungry to secure a medal after shooting was exempted from the CWG games and the Asian Games too did not happen last year due to COVID-19 in China.

"Last time I was ranked number one for CWG. But shooting was exempted. Same for the Asian Games, I was ranked one, but it was postponed. Really excited for it," she said.

Ashi said that her preparation is going on well.

"Our chief and foreign coaches are helping us. In shooting, it is difficult to be at the top of the rankings as players are just points apart from each other," she added. (ANI)

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