Chandigarh shooter 18-year-old Arjun Babuta made his way to his second international medal of the year when he shot a final round score of 249.7 to win the silver medal in the junior category in the 10 M Air Rifle event in the 10th Asian Airgun Championship 10 M Rifle/Pistol being held at Wako City, Japan. Babuta, who had won a historic bronze medal in last year’s ISSF Junior World Cup in Azerbaijan, missed the gold medal by a whisker as Yukun Liu of China won the gold medal with a junior world record score of 249.8 in the final.
“It was a close final and it is a day of mixed feelings for me. I shot a score of 623.8 in the qualification and shot well in the final. I had a chance to win the gold medal till the last shot of the final but unfortunately I shot a score of 9.5 at the last show. The floor at the range was shaky and it was tough shooting in such conditions but I am happy to win my second medal at the international level this year,” shared Babuta, who is a student of BA-II in DAV College, Sector 10.
Babuta, whose father Neeraj Babuta is Station Master in railways posted at Ferozepur, Punjab, shifted his base to Chandigarh in 2011 and initially trained under Abhinav Bindra’s coach col JS Dhillon before training under coach DS Chandel. The youngster became the Punjab champion in 2025 apart from winning the youth and junior titles in 10 M Air Rifle in 2015 nationals. Last year, Babuta won the silver medal in ISSF Junior World Cup in Azerbaijan with a score of 183.6 in the final where Czech Republic’s Filip Nepejchal won the gold medal. This year has seen Babuta winning the silver medal in Shooting Hopes Shooting Championship, Czech Republic apart from finishing fifth in ISSF Junior World Cup in Germany.
“Competing at the international level in the junior circuit is the key for me and the medal in Czech Republic early this year boosted my confidence. My next target is the Senior Nationals to be held in Kerela next week apart from the trial series for Commonwealth Games and Asian Games. I finished fourth in last month’s trials and shooting consistent scores has been on my mind. National chief coach for juniors Deepali Deshpande and Deepak Kumar Dubey has been helping us a lot,” shared Babuta.
Coach Deepak Kumar Dubey saw the finals and terms Babuta’s performance as a strong performance. “Arjun shot a good qualification score and it helped him in the final. He shot well in the first series and recovered well in the last series to miss the gold medal narrowly. But such contests will boost his confidence a lot,” shared Dubey.