Youth Olympics 2018: Can Saurabh Chaudhary end the shooting campaign on a historic high?
Individually, the shooting genre at Buenos Aires Youth Olympics 2018 will end on 10 October 2018, as the boys' 10 m. Pistol event officially comes to a close. Going by the current performance, it seems that the Indian shooting has finally found the right gears that would help them clinch the top spots in the podium. With 1 gold, 2 silvers, and counting, it seems as if none of the four shooters would return empty-handed, a historic high for India in the making.
As such, expectations will be quite high from teenage prodigy Saurabh Chaudhary, who is all set to gun for glory in the Boys' 10 m. Air pistol event. The question is, can he end the individual shooting campaign for India on a historic high?
Saurabh: Rise to Fame
Born in Meerut, a city famous for sports goods but equally notorious for gang wars, Saurabh Chaudhary has had a roller coaster journey. He was first spotted by the Veer Shamal Rifle Club, who honed his skills. Later on, he was selected to represent his school in the much-touted Khelo India Games, where he performed ably.
However, despite his performance, he was overlooked by the selectors for a long time in early 2018. It was only at the time of Jakarta Asiad that he was selected over the much more celebrated shooter Jitu Rai, invoking the ire of media.
However, he proved all the critics wrong, when he shocked the present Olympic champion, World Champion as well as an ex-World Champion to win the gold medal in the last two shots of his final round, becoming one of the youngest recipients of an Asian Games gold medal for India!
ISSF World Championship: The Champion cements his authority
Soon enough, Saurabh proceeded for the coveted ISSF World Championships. Despite his impressive performance at the Jakarta Asiad 2018, he was kept out from the senior squad.
However, in the junior event, Saurabh broke the erstwhile world record to clinch the gold medal in style. Interestingly, his score of the finals was enough even to displace the current world champion, Jin Jong Oh of South Korea by places to comfortably win the senior gold medal, as well as an Olympic spot without any trouble for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics 2020.
Youth Olympics 2018: Can he create history?
Now that he is all set to represent India at the Youth Olympics, can he create history here as well? He surely can, for at present, he has little to no opponents in the youth circuit. He has just won the Junior World Title with a new junior world record, and his present scores are enough to give even the best in the senior circuit a tough run for their money.
If Saurabh ends the journey with gold, this will be a historic high for India, as none of the shooters would return individually without a medal. His colleague in the pistol event, i.e., Manu Bhaker, has already won a historic gold medal, and it would be nothing better for Saurabh than to add another moment in the golden history of Indian sports!