Saurabh Chaudhary does know how to absorb pressure just as a sponge absorbs water. After all, the 17-year-old medallist was competing against some of the best in the world at home.
However, the Asian Games gold medalist not only out-performed his competitors present there. Saurabh Chaudhary set the world record in the 10m air pistol event. The record also won Chaudhary a World Cup gold ensuring an Olympic quota on Sunday.
— ISSF (@ISSF_Shooting) February 24, 2019
The feat comes at the back of another world record by Apurvi Chandela in the air rifle event.
Playing at the Dr. Karni Singh Range, pressure for performing well was always going to be high. However, Chaudhary executed his technique tenaciously, producing accurate shots. He was almost using the home advantage to his favour.
Saurabh first qualified with an admirable 587 in the afternoon. He then declared his strength of character in a top class field with a breathtaking final. Although he began the campaign with a score of 10.2, the next 23 shots came unbelievably.
Saurabh scored a massive 245.0 in his quest to win the gold. However, on the process, he also set a new world record. He also ensured an Olympic quota by overtaking Damir Mikec of Serbia by a huge 5.7 point margin.
“Winning a competition on my home turf is something unique. It makes me really happy. I think I couldn’t have a better opportunity than this.”
— ISSF (@ISSF_Shooting) February 25, 2019
What is impressive about his achievements is that he didn’t expect such an outstanding performance from himself. Nonetheless, Chaudhary was quite sure that he would deliver his ‘best’.
“I knew I’d a big lead. But I wasn’t thinking about it. Just focused on my technique. I didn’t turn or look back, as it was important to retain a good position, physically. I didn’t want to change anything,’’said Saurabh post his triumph.
The gold also marked Indian shooters’ booking of the third Olympic quota for the Tokyo 2020 Games. The other ones were won in women’s air rifle by Anjum Moudgil and Apurvi.
Disappointment for Manu Bhaker
A lot was being hoped from the Commonwealth Games and Youth Olympic Games gold medalist Manu Bhaker. Competing in women’s 25-metre sports pistol, the 17-year-old qualified by registering the second-best score of 590 out of 600.
However, Manu slipped in the quickfire event from the second spot with six series of five shots, to finish fifth. The elimination also took the Olympic quota away from her.
Even though the exit would be heartbreaking for the youngster, she can make a comeback in the mixed team events competition for securing an Olympic quota.
10m air pistol:
1. Saurabh Chaudhary 245.0 WR (587);
2. Damir Mikec (Serbia) 239.3 (586);
3. Pang Wei (China) 215.2 (587);
24. Abhishek Verma (576);
26. Ravinder Singh (576).
MQS: Om Prakash Mitharwal (578).
50m rifle 3-position:
1. Istvan Peni (Hungary) 459.1 (1178);
2. Sergey Kamenskiy (Russia) 459.0 (1180);
3. Marco De Nicolo (Italy) 444.5 (1179);
22. Parul Kumar 1170;
25. Sanjeev Rajput 1169.
25m sports pistol:
1. Veronika Major (Hungary) 40 WR (591);
2. Zhang Jingjing (China) 33 (586);
3. Haniyeh Rostamiyan 30 (584);
5. Manu Bhaker 22 (590);
15. Rahi Sarnobat 580;
17. Chinki Yadav 580.
MQS: Annu Raj Singh 571.