Asian Games gold-medallist Saurabh Chaudhary shattered the world record to claim the junior 10m air pistol gold at the ISSF World Championships here Thursday but senior shooters failed to impress yet again.
Arjun Singh Cheema settled for a bronze in the same event and the Indian team took the silver, propelled by Chaudhary’s phenomenal individual performance.
The 16-year-old Chaudhary, who won the Asiad gold last month, qualified third with a score of 581 before shooting down his own world record with a score of 245.5 in the final. Singh managed 218 once the field was pruned to eight following the qualifying round.
Chaudhary first set a world record in the 10m air pistol event at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Junior World Cup in June.
Korean Hojin Lim, who made the finals as the top qualifier, finished second with a final score of 243.1 for the silver medal.
The Indian team of Chaudhary, Singh and Anmol, who could not make the individual final, claimed the silver with a combined score of 1730.
The gold was snared by the Korean team, which broke the world record with its total of 1732. Russia picked up the bronze with a score of 1711.
Chaudhary, son of a farmer based in Kalina Village in Meerut surprised everyone with his maturity to keep calm under the pressure at the Asian Games.
He picked up the sport only three years ago. A student of class XI Chaudhary learnt the tricks of the trade at Amit Sheoran’s academy at Benoli near Baghpat, 53 kilometres from Meerut.
However, there was disappointment for senior shooters, who endured a successive barren day. Asiad bronze-medallist Abhishek Verma raised hopes for a medal by qualifying third for the 10m air pistol event for men.
However, 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.
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.