You can never be too young to set a standard on a global platform. A perfect example of the statement is India’s teenage sport shooter Saurabh Chaudhary. In spite of being just 17 years of age, the youngster from Uttar Pradesh has already represented India and clinched gold medals at the highest stage, and he has done it again at the 63rd National shooting championship, securing one more gold medal in 10 m air pistol event.
On 4th January, the final day the 63rd National shooting championship, held at the Madhya Pradesh Shooting Academy in Goregaon, Bhopal, Saurabh defeated his compatriot Sarabjot Singh in the final round. Saurabh’s score was 246.4, a decisive 2.5 more than Sarabjot. Abhishek Verma came third with a score of 221.1.
However, Saurabh’s final score was just 0.1 shy from Kim Song Guk, the North Korean who scored a world record of 246.5 at the 2019 Asian Championship in Doha back in November. Kim broke the previous world record of 246.3, set by Saurabh himself at the 2019 ISSF World Cup in Munich in the month of May.
From a tough competitive field of 728 shooters in the qualifying round, Saurabh scored the highest with 583, while Sarabjot and Abhishek trailed behind with 580 and 581 respectively. They both however clinched gold for Haryana in the team final.
Since winning his first medal in silver at the 2016 Asian Airgun Championship in Tehran, Saurabh has won a number of medals in various International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) tournaments in the last two years. At the 2018 Jakarta Palembang Asian Games, the starlet secured a gold, making him the youngest Indian shooter to achieve the feat at 16 years of age.
Back in November, Saurabh was nominated by ISSF along with Divyansh Singh Panwar and Elavenil Valarivan for ranking no. 1 in the ISSF world rankings, and the trio were felicitated with ‘The Golden Target’ award at a ceremony in December in Munich.
The teenager, who is India’s biggest hope of securing gold at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, won gold at the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires.
Saurabh had a marvellous spell last year. The youngster secured his first gold of 2019 at the ISSF World Cup final in New Delhi in February, along with his world record setting medal in Munich. He also won four golds in the in the 10 m air pistol mixed team category, along with Manu Bhaker at the ISSF World Cup finals in New Delhi, Beijing, Munich and Rio.