Shoots WR, gold and Olympic quota; Manu Bhaker eliminated
He is too young to be a monk, but Saurabh Chaudhary can put a monk to shame when it comes to retaining equanimity in an electrifying atmosphere.
The 17-year-old Asian Games gold medallist, Youth Olympic champion and World junior champion, Saurabh added another golden leaf to his portfolio by winning the Olympic quota with a golden world record in men’s air pistol on Sunday.
In a way, it was one better in the ongoing shooting World Cup at the Dr. Karni Singh Range for the host, after the brilliant gold and world record of Apurvi Chandela in women’s air rifle, as Saurabh could pin the Olympic quota as well.
Of course, it was no fault of Apurvi that she had won the Olympic quota in the World Championship last year itself, but the pressure to do it at home was very much on the Indian squad.
Saurabh stuck to the basics, qualified with an impressive 587 in the afternoon, before asserting his strength of character in an unbelievable final in which he started with a modest 10.2 and unleashed the next 23 shots like a statue.
Saurabh won the gold with 245.0, a world record, bettering his own record, with an improbable 5.7 point margin over Damir Mikec of Serbia who took the other Olympic quota place from the event.
“I knew I had a big lead, but I was not thinking about it. Just focused on my technique. I did not turn or look back, as it was important to retain the good position, physically. I did not want to change anything,” said Saurabh.
In the women’s 25-metre sports pistol event, Manu Bhaker slipped from being in the second place after six series of five shots, to getting eliminated in the fifth place, as she could hit only two out of five targets.
Men: 10m air pistol: 1. Saurabh Chaudhary 245.0, WR (587); 2. Damir Mikec (Srb) 239.3 (586); 3. Pang Wei (Chn) 215.2 (587); 24. Abhishek Verma 576; 26. Ravinder Singh 576. MQS: Om Prakash Mitharwal 578.
50m rifle 3-position: 1. Istvan Peni (Hun) 459.1 (1178); 2. Sergey Kamenskiy (Rus) 459.0 (1180); 3. Marco De Nicolo (Ita) 444.5 (1179); 22. Parul Kumar 1170; 25. Sanjeev Rajput 1169.
Women: 25m sports pistol: 1. Veronika Major (Hun) 40, WR (591); 2. Zhang Jingjing (Chn) 33 (586); 3. Haniyeh Rostamiyan (Iri) 30 (584); 5. Manu Bhaker 22 (590); 15. Rahi Sarnobat 580; 17. Chinki Yadav 580. MQS: Annu Raj Singh 571.