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Legendary Coach Blamed for Indian Shooting Star Bhaker's Tokyo Debacle After Fallout

CC BY-SA 4.0 / Martin Rulsch / Manu Bhaker
Manu Bhaker - Sputnik International, 1920, 27.07.2021
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Manu Bhaker is the youngest Indian to win a gold medal at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup. She accomplished the feat in 2018 in Guadalajara, Mexico, where she won gold in the 10m air pistol and 10m air pistol mixed team events.
Jaspal Rana, regarded as one of the best pistol shooters India has ever produced and the former coach of teenage shooting sensation Manu Bhaker, has been blamed for her ongoing struggles in Tokyo after National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) President Raninder Singh made startling revelations about their relationship.
According to Raninder, Rana and Bhaker's troubles began after the ex-coach argued that fielding her in three events in Tokyo would put her under tremendous pressure and jeopardise her chances of success. 
Raninder also said he doesn't understand why Rana was so adamant about fielding Bhaker in an individual air pistol event.
"There was just one person who was the negative factor in the whole thing. I am referring to Jaspal Rana," Raninder told Indian media on Tuesday.
The NRAI president says he had intervened in the conflict and tried to resolving it twice, but to no avail as Rana refused to budge. 
"It is for reasons best known to him and the athlete concerned. They are unable to work together," Raninder said.
Raninder's revelations led to a massive social media storm, with many Twitter users blaming Rana for Bhaker's Olympic misery.​
​Rana was the man behind Bhaker's rise, but the duo suffered a fallout months before the Tokyo Games, leaving the 19-year-old without a mentor for her Olympic debut.  
Bhaker, who also won gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow as a 16-year-old, was the country's biggest hope to win a medal in shooting.
However, Bhaker's performances have been underwhelming in Japan; she failed to qualify for the final of her favourite 10m air pistol event due to a technical glitch with her gun on Sunday.
On Tuesday, nerves then got the better of her as she and Saurabh Chaudhary were unable to qualify for the medal rounds in the 10m air pistol mixed team event.
The 25m pistol event, scheduled for Thursday, will be her last chance at winning a medal. 
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