By: Shashank Suresh
NewDelhi: The golden boy of Meerut will compete in the 10-meter air pistol event in the Tokyo Olympics. Sourabh, the son of a farmer, has won 21 medals in various international events, including 14 golds, five silvers, and two bronzes in the junior Olympic Games, ISSF World Cup, and World Championship. His parents, siblings, and coach are all optimistic that he will strike gold this time. Saurabh Chaudhary has a billion hopes on his shoulders.
Saurabh Chaudhary has established his place in the Indian shooting community as a prodigy destined for greatness since winning gold in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta at the age of 16. A prodigy who rose to fame with his sheer hard work and achievements in last decade, his ascent reflects the country’s meteoric infrastructure development in the sport of shooting.
Saurabh Chaudhary is an Indian sport shooter who was born on May 12, 2002. He was born in the hamlet of Kalina in the western Uttar Pradesh district of Meerut. He hails from a farming family of western Uttar Pradesh. Jagmohan Singh Siwach is his father’s name. He began shooting at the age of 13. He practiced every day, commuting 15 kilometres each way on buses to his Aryangateways Sports Foundation club. His coach, Amit Sheoran, saw his potential early on and began grooming him.
You can feel Saurabh’s influence on shooting when you visit Saurabh Chaudhary’s hometown, Kalina, in Meerut. Kalina has become a shooting village. Pre-teens swarm the school’s lone shooting range, where Chaudhary, who is only 19, learned his trade. This school used to have only a few students, most of whom were looking for jobs in the military. They’ve all decided to follow in the footsteps of their adolescent hero and pursue a career as a sport shooter.
They also predict Chaudhary will win a gold medal at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. That conviction isn’t unrealistic in the least. Since he began shooting at the top level two in 2019, Chaudhary has been almost untouchable.
Shubham Siwach, Chaudhary’s close mate and national level shooter with whom Chaudhary first went onto a range, has begun to adopt some of the world No. 2 pistol shooter’s behavioural qualities.
Amit Sheoran, who is still Chaudhary’s coach, runs the shooting school in Kalina. The school is a small one-room facility that was once a dilapidated tin shack when Chaudhary initially started. Because equipment and bullets were scarce, Chaudhary spent much of his early training “dry shooting,” or going through shooting motions but not firing a bullet. One of the training involved standing under the scorching tin roof for hours, holding the pistol up with half a brick tied to his wrist, to build endurance.
The 19-year-old, who is now ranked second in the world in men’s 10m air pistol behind fellow Indian Abhishek Verma, has had a strong form in recent years, both individually and in mixed team competitions with prodigy Manu Bhaker.
After coming into the international stage three years ago with an Asian Games medal, Chaudhary exploded into the scene in 2019, winning individual gold at the ISSF World Cups in New Delhi and Munich and a bronze in Rio de Janeiro. In addition, he and Bhaker won gold in each of the four World Cups that year at the 10m air pistol mixed team events.
Chaudhary was awarded the ISSF Golden Target Award in the 10m air pistol category for his unwavering consistency in December of that year. In the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi that year, he won his Tokyo quota by setting a world record with a score of 245.0 at the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range.
Video Conferencing with Prime Minister
Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a video conference with athletes going to Tokyo. It was a fond memory for Saurabh, who found it motivating to gear up for the Olympics. Saurabh recalled how he started training in 2015 and got constant support from his family. Under the coaching of Amit Sheoran, he started improving his skills.
Saurabh asked Prime Minister Modi about his ability to stay calm in the most difficult circumstances in a witty moment. Saurabh aimed to learn that from the Prime Minister to handle the pressure he’s about to face at the Tokyo Olympics.
Indian Shooting Team
When he gets to the range for the 10m Air Pistol event on July 24, he may be the reason India wins a medal on the tournament’s opening day in Tokyo. Compatriot Abhishek Verma, the current world No. 1, will be shooting beside him.
Can Chaudhary or Verma match Abhinav Bindra’s success in Beijing? Since Bindra’s breakthrough in 2008, India has failed to win an individual Olympic gold.
Jitu Rai, a 10m Air Pistol shooter from India, was in top shape for the Rio Olympics. He was recognized for his ability to absorb stress. However, he said that he felt pressured in Rio. One of the steadiest shooting hands failed. In 2016, India came home without a shooting medal.
Chaudhary is a contender for not one but for two Olympic gold medals in Tokyo. He forms the best-mixed duo in pistol with Manu Bhaker. In 2019, the duo won gold in each of the four shooting world cups.