Tokyo-bound shooter Saurabh Chaudhary opened India’s account at the ISSF World Cup in Osijek, Croatia, with a bronze in the men’s 10m air pistol event.
India had endured a modest opening day on which podium finishes eluded the likes of Manu Bhaker and Elavenil Valarivan.
19 year old, Saurabh scored 220 in the final after qualifying with a score of 581. Compatriot Abhishek Verma finished fifth in the same event with a score of 179.3 after also shooting 581 in the qualifying.
The event is the Indian shooting team’s final competitive outing before the Olympics in Tokyo.
Born in Meerut district of Uttar Pradesh, Saurabh Choudhary took up shooting at the age of 13 and practised daily, traveling 15 km each way on buses to his club.
His coach Amit Sheoran identified his talent and groomed him from grassroot level.
Chaudhary was the youngest gold medalist at the 2018 Asian Games. He set a new junior world record in the ISSF Junior World Cup in Suhl, Germany. He is the only Indian shooter to win a gold medal in ISSF World Championship, ISSF World Cup, Youth Olympic Games, Asian Games and Asian Air Gun Championship.
In 2019, Choudhary won the gold medal at ISSF World Cup in Delhi. He also won gold in Mixed Team 10m pistol with Manu Bhaker ISSF World Cup in Beijing. Later, he broke the world and junior records in 10m pistol ISSF World Cup in Munich.
Last year, Chaudhary booked an Olympic quota place, shot a total of 588 to finish ahead of another Tokyo Games quota place holder Abhishek Varma (585) and Annuraj Singh (579) in the 10m air rifle men and women combined qualification.
Though Saurabh contracted Covid this year, but he has now recovered fully and working hard to win prestigious Olympic medal for India.