Pistol ace Manu Bhaker has got a new electronic target installed at the makeshift shooting range at her home in Haryana in place of an archaic manual machine that was breaking down frequently and hampering her Olympics preparation.
The old machine was causing her "immense irritation".
Delighted by the reboot in her training, the teenaged star has got down to preparing with renewed vigour, sure in her mind that the Olympics will take place next year despite the uncertainty in the world of sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I have recently got the machine installed at my home and this will be surely more beneficial in my training," Bhaker told PTI from her home at Goria village.
Her father set up the range after she showed exceptional skills in the precision sport.
Bhaker thanked the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ), the organisation that manages her, for promptly getting the machine -- an avant-garde target -- delivered at her home despite the nationwide lockdown enforced to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I was facing a lot of issues with the old machine as it was manual. The thread would come off and often it would break down on and off. Now it's very different with the new machine," the 18-year-old Bhaker said.
"Since I feel there is unlikely to be any outdoor action and competitions for another three-four months, I thought it will be useful to get this installed at this point in time."
A medallist at ISSF World Cup, Commonwealth Games and the Youth Olympics, Bhaker was primed for success at sport's grandest and biggest stage in Tokyo which was to happen this year, but the unprecedented health crisis intervened and forced a postponement of the Games by a year.
With the world still far away from bringing the situation under control, there are doubts if the Tokyo Games would be held even next year.
"Yes, the Indian shooters were in great form heading into the Games, but health is a bigger concern," Bhaker said.
"I am very hopeful of the Olympics taking place next year and also confident of maintaining my game and hitting peak form there. This is a difficult time for the world but I have no negative thoughts and I am mentally prepared."
The target HS10 machine from Swiss company SIUS Ascor is designed for all air guns for distance ranging from 10 to 20 meters.
Some of the salient features of the machine are its accuracy, integrated high-intensity LED target illumination, low operating costs (no paper rolls/rubber rolls) and it is also suitable for outdoor shooting.
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