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Home / India / Saurabh Chaudhary wins Asian Games gold. He's only 16

Saurabh Chaudhary wins Asian Games gold. He's only 16

The debutant snatched the lead from 2010 World Champion Tomoyuki Matsuda on the penultimate shot in the 24-shot final
Saurabh Chaudhary takes aim in the final round of the 10m air pistol men's final shooting event at the 18th Asian Games in Palembang, Indonesia.
Saurabh Chaudhary takes aim in the final round of the 10m air pistol men's final shooting event at the 18th Asian Games in Palembang, Indonesia.
Image: AP

AP And PTI   |   Jakarta   |   Published 21.08.18, 09:25 AM

He showed composure against a seasoned field that also included South Korean Jin Jin-goh, who won Olympic gold medals at Beijing, London and Rio de Janeiro and is a multiple world champion but placed fifth in Palembang.

'I did not feel any pressure,' said Chaudhary, the son of a farmer from Kalina village in Meerut

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He picked up the sport only three years ago, training at Amit Sheoran's academy at Benoli near Baghpat, 53km from Meerut.

Whenever he is home, he helps his father in the farming business.

'I like farming. We don't get much time off from training but whenever I do, I go back to my village and help my father,' the teenager said.

Chaudhary, a student of class XI, will be off to the World Championships after the Games.

Praise from home flowed in quickly after Chaudhary picked up the gold, from high-profile athletes and public figures. Cricketer cricketer Virender Sehwag, of course, asked the most pertinent question.. 

Like Chaudhary, Rohtak-based Verma, too, picked up the sport three years ago.

The 29-year-old lawyer-cum-shooter did begin well but saved his best for the last to win bronze.

'I was nervous in the beginning seeing a field like that. But then I composed myself. It is my first international event and I have won a medal. It feels great of course,' Verma, who hails from Rohtak, told PTI.

In the fifth series, he shot a couple of 10.7s to get himself into medal contention. He consolidated from there, producing a solid finish.

He and another teen sensation Manu Bhaker had disappointed in the mixed team event, failing to qualify for the final.

'The fact that Manu and I failed to qualify in mixed team, we were not disappointed. We learnt a lot from that failure,' he said about that missed opportunity.

Saurabh Chaudhary has an Asian Games gold medal at the age of 16 after winning the men's 10-meter air pistol title on debut in senior competition at Palembang.

Chaudhary, who only took up the sport competitively three years ago and set a junior world record earlier this year, won with a Games record of 240.7 in the 24-shot final. Japan collected silver via 42-year-old ex-world champion Tomoyuki Matsuda, who was a point behind.

Abhishek Verma joined India teammate Chaudhary on the podium after finishing in third place.



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