Saurabh Chaudhary wins gold at ISSF World Cup

Vastavam web: Sixteen-year-old boy Saurabh Chaudhary beat the men standing in his way to claim gold with a new record in the ISSF World Cup here Sunday, securing India’s third Olympic quota, but there was disappointment in store for Manu Bhaker. Unfazed by a field comprising seasoned campaigners, Chaudhary smashed the men’s 10m air pistol world record in his maiden senior World Cup appearance, at the season-opening International Shooting Sport Federation event.

Qualification topper Manu, however, finished fifth in the women’s 25m pistol event after starting strongly. Asian Games and Youth Olympics gold medallist Chaudhary ended the event with a total score of 245. Chaudhary showed no signs of nervousness despite his first senior World Cup outing and started strongly to finish on top with Serbian Mikec at the end of the first series.

In the second series, the champion shooter continued his good form and finished at the top. “I just tried to keep doing what I usually do. I never thought about the quota or the world record, else I wouldn’t be here,” Chaudhary said after his triumph. Other Indians competing in the event, Abhishek Verma and Ravinder Singh, failed to qualify for the final. Both Abhishek are Ravinder finished with a total score of 576 in the qualification round.

The Commonwealth Games and Youth Olympics gold medallist Manu ended the event with a total score of 22 at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range. In the first series, Manu scored 3 out of a possible 5. She found the mark just twice in the second series, slipping to the seventh position. The multiple World Cup medallist was on target in the third series jumping to the second spot. However, Manu struggled to find the target consistently and finished fifth. She had qualified for the final with a score of 590 while Rahi Sarnobat and Chinki Yadav failed to advance.

Last year, Chaudhary also won gold at the Junior World Cup in Suhl, Germany, in addition to being crowned junior world champion and Youth Olympic champion.
He has won one gold and one silver at the Junior Asian Championships, and a gold at a Youth Asian Championship. In qualification, Chaudhary finished third with a score of 587 (20x), behind 588 (27x) shot by Lee Daemyung of South Korea and 587 (23x) shot by Pang Wei. In the men’s 50m rifle 3 positions event, Indian shooters failed to qualify for the final as Hungary’s Istvan Peni claimed the gold medal. This was India’s second medal in the tournament, with Apurvi Chandela winning a gold in the women’s 10m air rifle category on Saturday.