Asian Games: Shardul Vihan Clinches Silver in Men’s Double Trap
Fifteen-year-old Shardul Vihan on Thursday became the youngest Indian shooter to win a medal at the Asian Games after he finished second in the men's double trap here, extending the sensational run of teenaged marksmen from the country.
The Meerut-based Vihan shot 73 in the final after topping the qualification earlier in the day. The gold went to 34-year-old South Korean Hyunwoo Shin and bronze to 42-year-old from Qatar, Hamad Ali Al Marri.
Usually, the shotgun competitions are dominated by older shooters but Vihan, a class 10 student of Dayawati Modi Academy in Modipuram, was unfazed by the presence of experienced shooters double his age. The bronze winner is almost triple his age.
Sixteen-year-old Saurabh Chaudhary, who also has a Meerut connection, had made history by winning the gold in the 10m pistol on Tuesday. Vihan's silver was India's eighth medal from the Jakabaring Shooting Range.
It may seem sensational but the young Indian shooters are making a habit of winning medals at the big stage. Anish Bhanwala was fifteen and Manu Bhaker was sixteen when they had won gold at the Commonwealth Games earlier this year.
Vihan took to shooting seriously only four years ago, under the tutelage of Shamli-based coach Anwar Sultan, who witnessed his student's success in person.
Double trap is no more an Olympic sport.
He is a rare talent who works extremely hard on his game. His uncle Manoj Vihan, who present at the shooring range in Palembong, revealed his punishing schedule.
"He wakes up at five in the morning every day, goes to Karni Shooting Rane (in Delhi) from Meerut, and comes back only by nine in the night. Imagine a 15-year-old doing all this," said Manoj.
Vihan tried cricket and then badminton before settling with shooting.
He had a sensational 2017 when he amassed four national titles and the cherry on the cake was a medal at the ISSF Junior World Cup in Germany.
No wonder he was fearless against competitors more than double his age.
There were no signs of fatigue even though he was out in scorching sun for almost four hours, having topped the qualification earlier.
"I was as fresh as ever," said the shooter, who also likes to cook besides his video game bingeing.
India's other representation in men's double trap, Ankur Mittal, did not make the final. Shreyasi Singh and Varsha Varman also disappointed, finishing sixth and seventh in women's double trap.