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Tokyo Olympics: Saurabh Chaudhary not one to succumb to the burden of expectations | Tokyo Olympics News – Times of India

July 20, 2021
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Indian shooting’s ‘Wonder BoySaurabh Chaudhary is looking to blitz past a field decorated with champs
NEW DELHI: A billion hopes are riding on Saurabh Chaudhary’s shoulders, but the shooter himself seems unperturbed. He is used to saying nonchalantly, “Pressure, wo kya hota hai sir?”
The reigning Asian Games champion refuses to succumb to the burden of expectations in his quest for Olympic glory. His moment of reckoning will come on the first day of competition on July 24, when the men’s 10m air pistol qualification and medal rounds will be played at the Asaka shooting range in Tokyo.
Saurabh prefers to keep things simple, and maybe this contributes to his calm demeanour. “I believe in going out there, shooting and delivering my best. It’s important to keep your calm and remain focused. I have always followed this principle,” he said.

Saurabh’s game is thrilling, and he can often give you goosebumps with his near-perfect scores. Once he channels the rage within and hits peak mode, the 19-year-old from Meerut’s Kalina village can become unstoppable. “Nothing has changed for me since the day I started winning medals. I have been following the same training and competition routine and will continue to do so.”
Consistency has defined Saurabh’s career since his junior World Cup days. His transition to senior ranks was equally smooth and convincing. In his first international outing as a senior, the 2018 Jakarta Asiad, Indian shooting’s ‘wonder boy’ had secured a historic gold ahead of South Korea’s legendary four-time Olympic champion Jin Jong-oh.
Saurabh will be entering the competition as one of the top medal prospects, along with his teammate Abhishek Verma, another strong contender for a podium finish. Since his superb show in Jakarta, Saurabh’s individual medals have come from Youth Olympic Games (gold, 2018 Buenos Aires), World Cups (gold, 2019 New Delhi and Munich, silver in 2021 New Delhi and bronze in 2019 Rio de Janeiro) and World Cup Final (silver, 2019 Putian).

Last month, Saurabh had participated in the Osijek World Cup in Croatia and settled for an individual bronze in his event. In the same WC, he had secured a silver partnering Manu Bhaker in the mixed team event. Saurabh’s qualification scores have been consistent throughout, with the youngster amassing 580+ on most occasions.
At this year’s WC at home, he had qualified for the eight-man final with an impressive score of 587, while at the Osijek meet, he had hit 581. At the European Championships in May-June, where Saurabh had shot in the Minimum Qualification Score (MQS) category, he had recorded the tournament’s highest score of 589.
Based on his current form, Saurabh is better off than his nearest competitors at the Tokyo Games and qualifying for the final won’t be a problem for him. However, it won’t all be smooth sailing.
Apart from Jong-oh, there will be China’s Pang Wei, Beijing Olympics gold and Rio Games bronze medallist and also Germany’s Christian Reitz, who won gold in the 25m rapid fire pistol in Rio, bronze in Beijing and gold in the 2019 Delhi WC. With so many Olympic and world champions gracing the 10m air pistol field, if Saurabh manages to hit the mark it will be epic.





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