Meerut boy Saurabh Chaudhary, a shooter who has represented India in multiple international tournaments and won medals across them, is one of the 27 athletes being awarded with the Arjuna Award this year.
This was the first time when the athletes were given the opportunity to self-nominate themselves for the award. The result was a mammoth number of applications being sent to the commitee, where they sorted it out in a matter of a few days. Even then, a record 5 names has been selected for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and 27 names for the Arjuna Awards.
Saurabh, alongside sportsmen like archer Atanu Das, cricketer Ishant Sharma and Deepti Sharma and footballer Sandesh Jhingan will receive the prestigious award in a virtual ceremony on the occasion of National Sports Day.
We have exclusive statements from Saurabh and his coach on the fallout of his award announcement. While both are happy with the news, they are resilient about the dreams they have for the future which consists of The Olympics, amongst other achievements.
“I am very honoured to win this prestigious award and this has given me more confidence to step up my training and bring the ultimate glory for my country at the Tokyo Olympic Games next year,” said Saurabh.
“I am so happy that Saurabh has been honored with Arjuna Award and it has been a pleasure guiding his career. Our focus right now is the Tokyo Olympics and I am sure he will win a medal for his country,” his coach commented.
Saurabh was born in Kalina, Uttar Pradesh. He comes from a family of farmers living in Yamuna and Gangatic plains of western UP. His father is Jagmohan Singh. He took up shooting at 13 and practised daily, traveling 15 km each way on buses.
Saurabh has won a total of 12 Gold medals, 4 Silver and 1 Bronze across international events for India across youth and senior competitions.
He won the gold medal at the 2018 Asian Games in 10 m Air Pistol. He was the youngest Indian gold medalist at the Asian Games. He had earlier won gold medals and set a new junior world record in the ISSF Junior World Cup in Suhl, Germany. He is the only Indian shooter to win a gold medal in ISSF World Championship, ISSF World Cup, Youth Olympic Games,Asian Games and Asian Air Gun Championship.
He broke his own world record with a score of 245.5 and claimed gold in Junior Men 10m Air Pistol at 2018 World Championship in Changwon, Korea.