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Youth Olympic Games 2018: Saurabh Chaudhary clinches gold in 10m air pistol
From the Webdesk, 11/10/2018, New Delhi

Shooter Saurabh Chaudhary won the gold in men's 10m air pistol event of Youth Olympic Games at Buenos Aires in Argentina on Wednesday.

This is 16-year-old Saurabh's third big medal after he became senior Asian Games champion and junior World Champion earlier in August and September.

It was sort of a cakewalk for the Saurabh as he shot 244.2 in the eight-man final to win the gold. The boy from Kaleena village in Meerut already holds the juniors' final world record of 245. 5, which is 1.9 point more than the seniors record (243.6). On Wednesday, he once again made a mockery of seniors' final world record by 0.6 point. But since this score was shot in youth category, it will not be considered as senior record.

Saurabh won the top position with 7.5 points more than the Korean silver medallist Sung Yunho's 236.7. Switzerland's Jason Solari won the bronze (215.6).

With Saurabh's gold, Indian shooters' medal conversion rate has remained 100 per cent. Four Indian shooters have qualified for the Youth Games and all of them have won medals in their individual categories. While Shahu Tushar Mane and Mehuli Ghosh won silver medals in men and women's 10m air rifle events respectively, Manu Bhaker clinched gold in the women's 10m air pistol on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Saurabh entered the final after shooting 580 in the qualification round. He was impressive in the six-series qualification as he shot 97 twice and a perfect 100 in the fourth series, a feat pistol shooters thrive to achieve.

The final, however, turned one-sided for the Indian as he started on top with a lead of 0.9 point after first five shots. The lead kept of increasing with each round. Though Saurabh shot his quota of 9s, he compensated with some 10.7s and a 10.8 in the final and held the pole. Other shooters kept rotating on the No. 2 and No. 3 positions and shot 8s and 9s.

After 14 shots, the Indian prodigy was ahead of the eventual silver medallist Sung Yunho of Korea by a huge margin of five points. Saurabh never lost focus and 16th shot onwards, he shot only 10 and higher. His last 9 shots fetched him a total of 92.3 points, which was crucial for him in maintaining a comfortable grip over the gold medal.

All the four Indian shooters at the Youth Olympic Games will also participate in the mixed-team events but with partners from different countries. Since Saurabh has topped his individual event, he will get a partner who was placed last in the women's individual qualifications. Talking to TOI, NRAI president Raninder Singh said: "I can't add anything more to the result. We had four shooters and we won four medals. I don't think this has been done ever by Indians in any multi-sport event."

Saurabh is supported by not-for-profit organization Olympic Gold Quest.

 

 
 
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