16-Year-Old Saurabh Chaudhary Shoots Asian Games Record, Wins Gold
16-year-old Indian shooter Saurabh Chaudhary has created an Asian Games record on his way to the gold medal in the 10m Air Pistol event.
The young shooter, playing his first big international tournament, qualified for the final in the top spot ahead of compatriot Abhishek Verma and also four-time Olympic gold medallist Jin Jong-oh who’s in fact the most successful individual shooter in Olympic history.
As the final progressed, South Korea’s Jong-oh because the fourth shooter to be eliminated even as Saurabh slipped to the second spot behind Japan's Tomoyuki Matsuda.
Eventually, it was down to Matsuda, Saurabh and Abhishek for the three medal spots and the elder of the Indian shooters managed 9.3 and 10.3 to settle for bronze.
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The gold was to be decided in the final two shots between Tomoyuki Matsuda, who was in the lead, and Saurabh Chaudhary.
The young Indian maintained his calm and managed 10.2 in the penultimate shot but Matsuda fumbled and shot 8.9. Saurabh needed at 10.3 in the last shot to finish on top of the podium and very calmly, he shot 10.4 and grabbed the gold medal with a new Asian Games record score of 240.7 to pip Matsuda’s 239.7.
Hobby shooter Abhishek Verma, also making his Asian Games debut at 29, settled for the bronze medal in the same event with a score of 219.3.
Coached by Jaspal Rana, Chaudhary started his shooting career only three years back and won the gold in the Junior World Shooting Championships this summer with a world record score there as well.