Asian Games 2018: Heena Sidhu wins bronze, heartbreak for Manu

For two straight events at the ongoing Games, Bhaker shot brilliantly in the qualifications and cracked in the final.

Updated - August 24, 2018 09:51 pm IST

Published - August 24, 2018 12:31 pm IST - Palembang

File photo of India’s Heena Sidhu.

File photo of India’s Heena Sidhu.

Heena Sidhu put behind a modest qualification to win her maiden Asian Games individual medal on Friday, her bronze in the women’s 10m air pistol taking India’s haul at the Jakabaring Shooting Range to nine.

Heena came from behind in the finals and was just 0.1 from the lead after she produced a 10.8 on the 21st shot. Her next shot was a 9.6 and her overall score of 219.2 could only give her a bronze.

Sixteen-year-old Manu Bhaker was left disappointed again, this time in her main event, finishing fifth.

The gold went to China’s Wang Qian, whose 240.3 was a Games record. South Korea’s Kim Minjung took silver, aggregating 237.6.

Recovering well

Heena, a two-time World Cup gold medallist and former world number one, had recovered well in the qualification earlier in the day to finish seventh with 571 while Manu was third with 574.

“It is all because of my efforts in the finals (that I have won a medal). The qualification was low. I am not happy with it at all,” Heena told PTI when asked about her effort in the high-pressure finals.

“In the finals, I kept fighting from the first shot. In the beginning, the group was more on the left (of the bulls eye). I kept giving clicks to my sighter so that I could hit the bulls eye but I should have given more clicks.

“In the finals you are under pressure. You are not sure that ‘are you making the mistake or is it just the grouping that has shifted’ So I was trying to be very defensive. I think if I would have been more decisive and given more clicks in the beginning, I am sure I would have won the gold,” said the 28-year-old.

Rising expectations

Heena and Manu were fifth and sixth respectively after the first series of five shots each. Manu made a slight surge in the second series but was still nowhere near a medal.

After 14 shots of the 24-shot final, Heena moved to third with a 10.6 and 10.3, and was able to maintain it for bronze.

Manu could not meet the rising expectations but would be fired up to do her best at the upcoming World Championships. Her coach Jaspal Rana said Manu should be given more time.

“She is still very young. She needs to learn how to cope up with the pressure in big finals. The experience will come with time. You need to be mature enough to be winning medals at this level or the Olympics,” Rana said.

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