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‘Still I Rise’ – A success mantra for Asian Games gold medalist shooter Manu Bhaker
By Saurabh Duggal
In the run-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Manu Bhaker had an impressive tally of 11 medals, including nine gold, in the World Cups. She was considered a strong medal hopeful for India in the Tokyo Games. However, her performance didn't go as expected, and she faced a disappointing outing. After the quadrennial games, Bhaker went through a rough patch, and critics wrote her off. Nevertheless, the Haryana shooter persevered with the mantra 'Still I Rise.'
On Wednesday, Bhaker, along with Esha Singh and Rhythm Sangwan, clinched the team gold in the 25m Pistol event at the Hangzhou Asian Games.
"Achieving a score of 590 in the qualifying round of the 25m pistol event is remarkable. Winning the team gold in the Asian Games will surely boost Manu's confidence for upcoming events. She is peaking at the right pace, and hopefully, this will enhance her chances of securing a spot in the 2024 Paris Olympics through the Asian championship next month," said Associate Professor Amanendra Mann, who heads the sports department at DAV College Chandigarh and is also a qualified international shooting judge.
Bhaker is currently a second-year student pursuing a Master's degree in Public Administration at DAV College.
Inspired by the poem 'Still I Rise' by poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou, which has motivated millions to overcome difficulties and discouragement, Bhaker got a tattoo of 'Still I Rise' on the back of her neck as a source of constant motivation.
"Still I Rise' is not just words but a philosophy to prove your worth even when you face adversity. These words serve as a great source of motivation for me, reinforcing my determination that, despite any setbacks, I will rise," Bhaker had said before going for the Asian Games.
"Success and failure are inevitable in the life of an athlete, but how you handle setbacks and prepare for a comeback is what truly matters. 'Still I Rise' is an inspiration for me, so I decided to get it inked last year."