CHANDIGARH SHOOTER 18-year-old Arjun Babuta was leading till the 15 shots in the final of the 10m air rifle junior men’s event at the Meeting of The Shooting Hopes Shooting Championship in Plezen, Czech Republic, on Saturday. Babuta, who was lying fourth after qualification with a score of 623.9, eventually won the silver medal with a final score of 228.4 with just .2 points behind eventual gold medal winner Evgenii Ishchenko of Russia. This was Babuta’s first international medal of the year after he won bronze at the ISSF Junior World Cup in Gabala, Azerbaijan, last year. The Indian team is being coached by chief rifle coach Deepali Deshpande and shooting coach Deepak Dubey.
“It was a tough and a high-pressure final after I finished fourth in the qualification. Competing in Europe has always been tough and I was confident of making a good start in the final. I was leading after 15 shots in the final but slipped by .2 points at the end. Things like these happen in the shooting but I will take a lot of positives from this second-place finish in Czech Republic,” Babuta told Chandigarh Newsline.
A student of DAV College, Sector 10, Chandigarh, Babuta, whose father Neeraj Babuta is a railway station master in Ferozepur, shifted to Chandigarh seven years ago. The youngster won his first medal at the Chandigarh State Shooting Championship in 2013 and also claimed the titles in Punjab Senior/Youth/Junior Championships in 2015. Bauta also won the youth and junior titles in the 2016 nationals and won the youth gold medal in this year’s nationals. Last year, too,
Last year, too, Babuta had won silver in Plezen before winning bronze at the ISSF Junior World Cup. Babuta will now take part in the ISSF Junior world Cup in Suhl, Germany, next month. “My aim is to shoot consistent score above 625 in the qualification in international events also and the bronze medal in ISSF junior World Cup gave my confidence a huge boost. Earlier this year, I finished fourth in the Grand Prix in France. The medal in Plezen will also help my form ahead of the Junior World Cup in Suhl, Germany,” said Babuta, who also trained under Abhinav Bindra’s mental conditioning coach Amit Bhattacharjee last year.
The shooter trains under coach DS Chandel. The latter, who is with the Indian shooting team in Gabala, Azerbaijan, for the senior world cup, also showered praise on Babuta. “This is his second international medal and it will set his season ahead. His strength has been his stability and in Plezen, too, he showed that in the final. He shot a good score and maintained his lead in the initial part of the final. He has been constantly shooting scores above 622 and shooting at senior level will also help him,” added Chandel.