New Delhi: Saurabh Chaudhary, who won a gold medal in the 2018 Asian Games, continued to showcase his mettle by winning the 10m Air Pistol Junior gold at the ISSF Shooting World Championship in Changwon on Thursday.
The 16-year-old made it to the finals in third position with a score of 581 in the qualification rounds and then clinched the gold by creating a new junior world record in the final event. His final shot saw him miss the perfect 10 mark but he ended up breaking the record with little difficulty, ending with a score of 245.5.
Chaudhary took the lead after the second series of five shots in the final and from that point on he never looked likely to relinquish it, finishing atop the podium in some comfort. Korea's Hojin Lim won the silver medal while another Indian shooter, Arjun Singh Cheema, won the bronze in the event with a score of 218.
Cheema could have made it a 1-2 for India atop the podium in the event as he was in second place for quite a while. However, shots of 8.3 and 9.4 in the fifth elimination series made him slip down to third position and that was where he would finish despite his best efforts.
There was more good news for Indian shooting as team of Chaudhary, Cheema and Anmol Jain also won a silver medal with an aggregate score of 1730 in the team event. Korea, who registered a new Junior World Record score of 1732, took home the gold while the Russian team finished third with a final score 1711.
However, there was disappointment for senior shooters in the individual competition of the 10m air pistol event. Asiad bronze-medallist Abhishek Verma raised hopes for a medal by qualifying third for the 10m air pistol event for men.
But the lawyer-cum-marksman disappointed with an eighth place finish in the final after shooting a score of 118. Korea's Jin Jongoh claimed the gold in this event. The local favourite was tied on a score of 241.5 with Russia's Artem Chernousov but prevailed in the shoot-off.
In junior trap, Aman shot the best among the trio, his 118 in qualification taking him to the six-man final. He ended sixth. Aman had to also overcome a four-man shoot-off to get to the final.
In women's trap, Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Shreyasi Singh managed 110 out of 125 to finish 34th, followed by Seema Tomar (108 out of 125 to finish 41st) and Varsha Verman (107 out of 125 to finish 42nd). The team signed off eighth with a combined score of 325.
India ended day five with an overall total of 14 medals which includes four gold, six silver and four bronze. They lie third in the medals tally behind Korea and Russia.
So far, Anjum Moudgil and Apurvi Chandela are the only Indian shooters to secure quota places for the Olympics by winning a silver and finishing fourth respectively in the women's 10m air rifle event.
Though the two shooters have secured quotas, as per the stated policy, the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) will take the final call on selection, based on the aggregate scores of shooters (in international tournaments and selection trials) leading up to the Olympic Games.