Anish Bhanwala had every reason to feel ecstatic after receiving the gold medal in the 25m Rapid Fire Pistol event at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games (CWG) 2018 on Friday. At 15 years of age, he had just become the youngest Indian to win a Commonwealth Games gold medal.
The victory was even more sweet considering that the shooter who made his CWG debut also smashed the existing Games record, finishing with a total score of 30. He took the podium with a smile when his name was announced, but only after shaking hands with the silver medalist, Sergei Evglevsky of Australia, and the bronze medal winner, Sam Gowin of England.
This was the 16thgold medal for India.
— Doordarshan News (@DDNewsLive) April 13, 2018
The achievement a Gold Coast’s Belmont Shooting Centre came barely five days after 16-year-old Indian shooter Manu Bhaker had won the gold medal in the 10m Air Pistol event for women on her CWG debut.
Meanwhile, seasoned shooter Tejaswini Sawant added another gold to India’s medals tally by winning the 50m Rifle 3 positions event. The silver medal also went to India with Anjum Moudgil finishing second.
— Doordarshan Sports (@ddsportschannel) April 13, 2018
Who Is Anish Bhanwala?
Anish Bhanwala, who has emerged as a reckon with in the world of shooting over the past few years, won two gold medals, two silvers, and a bronze at the Junior World Shooting Championship at Shul in 2017.
He followed this up with a silver medal at the Commonwealth Shooting Championship. At the ISSF Junior World Cup in March this year, Anish Bhanwala won a gold and a silver medal.
Born in Karnal, Haryana, Anish is part of the ‘Bhanwala shooting duo’. His 16-year-old sister Muskan Bhanwala is also a champion shooter and won a gold medal in the 25m Rapid Fire Pistol event at the Junior World Cup.
The siblings are coached by Indian national head coach Jaspal Rana, himself an Asian Games and World Cup gold medalist.
Recognising the talent of the class X student, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) had agreed to reschedule some of his board papers to enable him to participate in recent international meets.
Twitter Celebrates Young Gun’s Win
Twitter was abuzz with celebratory posts, including some that pointed out that the teenager had won a CWG gold medal when he was still in school! Here is what Viren Rasquinha, former Olympian and captain of the men’s hockey team had to say.
GOLD!!! Congrats Anish Bhanwala. 15 year old. You should not be bunking school 😉. So proud of you my friend. Mens 25m Rapid Fire @OGQ_India @GC2018 #gc2018shooting. What a performance!! Congrats @OfficialNRAI @Media_SAI @jaspalrana2806 pic.twitter.com/PNuqwdTQm5
— Viren Rasquinha (@virenrasquinha) April 13, 2018
Former shooter and 2008 Beijing Olympic Games gold medalist Abhinav Bindra commended both Bhanwala and Manu Bhaker for their performance in their first CWG.
— Abhinav Bindra OLY (@Abhinav_Bindra) April 13, 2018
Bindra, incidentally, was 15 – the same age as Bhanwala – when he took part in his first Commonwealth Games in 1998.
Anish Bhanwala also took to Twitter to express his joy at the win, thanking everyone for their support.
Thanks everyone for their support, especially my parents, coaches, @ISSF_Shooting @IndiaSports @IndianOlympians @ioaindia @Ra_THORe @PMOIndia and specially @TheHMPA @theMPFI for showcasing the world of shooting to me.#indiaatgoldcoast #CWG2018India pic.twitter.com/Iol5t4UrMb
— Anish Bhanwala (@ImAnishBhanwala) April 13, 2018