Ronak Pandit: Manu Bhaker not ready to compete, she has technical issues that need to be resolved | More sports News

NEW DELHI: After learning some hard lessons during her Olympic debut in Tokyo, pistol shooter Manu Bhaker has decided to go back to the junior circuit for the first time since 2018. She will return to competition mode later this month, travelling to Peru for the ISSF Junior World Championships in Lima. However, Ronak Pandit, the coach who was attached with Manu for the Olympic campaign, believes the 19-year-old should take time to first fix her technical flaws.
“I don’t know who is taking these decisions for her,” said Pandit, who has been in the role of national squad’s High Performance Manager in the past, talking to TimesofIndia.com.
Manu will be shooting in as many as five events at the Junior World Championships — 10m air pistol, 25m sports pistol, 10m air pistol mixed team, 10m women’s team and 25m women’s team.

Manu Bhaker and Ronak Pandit during the Olympics in Tokyo – Photo courtesey NRAI Twitter
“I don’t know what she has in her mind, because after coming back from Tokyo she hasn’t contacted me at all,” Pandit said.
“Some of the technical issues that she needed to work on, which we didn’t have time to do before Tokyo, I had made a plan for those, both in 10m and 25m; things like – for how long she needs to take a break, how to resume after that. I had given her a detailed programme, that whenever you are ready to start, let me know, we will take it ahead and all those things. But she hasn’t bothered to contact me,” Pandit told TimesofIndia.com.
“So I am not in a position to say anything, except that I would have liked her to work on some of the shortcomings that we have faced.”
Attempts to contact Manu for a response to Pandit’s advice were unsuccessful.
Manu had failed to make it to the finals of 10m Air Pistol and 25m Pistol events at the Tokyo Olympics, besides missing entry into the 10m mixed team final as well alongside Saurabh Chaudhary.

Ronak consoling Manu after failing to enter one of the finals in Tokyo
The Games ended on a sorry note for the teenager, with news of her fall-out with coach Jaspal Rana being addressed and confirmed in Tokyo by the National Rifle Association of India president, Raninder Singh, who also made it clear that no one can be forced to work together. Athletes and coaches need to be “willing to work with each other”.
In another year, the quota matches for the 2024 Paris Olympics will begin, and Pandit believes now is the time for shooters to address their shortcomings before entering competition.
“If we don’t use this time to sort out our physical and technical shortcomings, when are we going to do it?” he questioned.
Pandit, in fact, didn’t mince words in saying that Manu “is not ready to compete” at this stage.

Reuters Photo
“Suddenly I get to know that she is going to the Junior World Championships and participating in five events. As far as I am concerned, she is not ready to compete. She has technical issues, which need to be resolved before an athlete can start competing again,” Pandit, who is married to former world No. 1 pistol shooter Heena Sidhu, told TimesofIndia.com.
“So I think it’s high time that everyone first decides what our primary goal is and we work towards the primary goal. Then, if these competitions fall in line with our goal, you may play. But if not, then one has to skip.
“You can’t be hopping and jumping from one competition to another thinking you are a super-human (which) you are not.”

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