Saurabh Chaudhary and Abhishek Verma will represent India in the 10m air pistol men event at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. This is the second event in the shooting sport at the Tokyo Games.
Abhishek Verma leads the international rankings as he is currently World No. 1. His compatriot, Saurabh Chaudhary, is not far behind. He is the World No. 2.
It’s fascinating to know that Abhishek Verma is a BTech graduate and LLB-degree holder. It was only in 2017 that he took up shooting as a hobby. Ever since, he has made rapid progress and cemented his place in the Indian Shooting team.
Abhishek Verma won the bronze medal in the Asian Games in 2018, and went on to bag the gold medal at the ISSF World Cup in Beijing, China in 2019. By virtue of this achievement, he won the Olympic quota for India.
Unlike Abhishek Verma, Saurabh Chaudhary is a child prodigy. He is the reigning Youth Olympic Champion of the 2018 edition in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The very next year, he set a world record of 245 points at the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi, India in 2019. This meant he finished atop the podium and secured the Olympic quota as well. Not to forget that, the 19-year old shooter is an Asian Games gold medalist in 2018 as well.
Prediction for Saurabh Chaudhary and Abhishek Verma in men's 10m air pistol event at Tokyo Olympics 2020
The two marksmen enter the competition as red-hot favorites. A score of 585 will get them through the ‘60-shot’ qualification round. Abhishek Verma and Saurabh Chaudhary have produced scores in the range of 585 on a consistent basis. The duo have managed to compete in both ISSF World Cup finals in 2021.
In the recently concluded ISSF World Cup in Osijek, Croatia, Saurabh finished in 3rd place whereas Abhishek bowed out at the 5th position. Their recent form undoubtedly makes them a solid contender for the 8-shooter Final in the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
However, the Tokyo Olympics 2020 will witness the return of Chinese and Korean shooters. Since the outbreak of COVID-19 virus, these two nations didn’t send their shooters to participate in the international competitions. Owing to this, they presently remain an unknown commodity on the world circuit.
Iranian shooting sensation Javad Foroughi will be the biggest threat to India’s medal chances in the 10m air pistol men's event. In both ISSF World Cups in 2021, he has the gold medal against his name.
Pang Wei of China and Jin Jongoh of Korea cannot be discounted either. Russia’s Artem Chernousov is another elite shooter who will be a strong contender for the podium finish.
All in all, if Abhishek Verma and Saurabh Chaudhary can keep their nerves in check, a medal by either of them at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 is a realistic hope.