For India, no one could beat Saurabh Chaudhary after his exceptional performance the qualifications. With the hopes of a medal on his shoulders, the teenage sensation went into the finals of the men’s 10m air pistol in the best position anyone possibly can; first place.
With a good mindset Chaudhary began his quest for a medal at his debut Olympics. He surpirsed everyone in the qualification round, slowing working his way up the ranks, finally settling on first. The finals were just two hours later, and the world expected Chaudhary to continue the momentum he had gained perviously.
He was however, quick to lose it, after barely managing to hang on in the first round. The struggle was imminent for him and in the very next round he was out shot by Bowen Zhang, and left the range in 7th position. It is Saurabh Chaudhary’s first Olympics, and for him this was a stepping stone in the right direction.
“Shooters have a rhythm. Most days you find it at the shooting range. Some days you don’t. There’s no disappointment though,” Saurabh said to FirstPost. “Abhi toh ek chance hi hua hai. Abhi toh poori umar padi hai. (This was just one shot at an Olympics medal. I still have my entire life to win here.)”
“If he’s struggling in the middle, he’s always trying to work on it,” Saurabh Chaudhary’s Coach
The competition in shooting in India is high. To gain some perspective, Chaudhary said, the last shooter to qualify for the finals at the Tokyo Olympics had a score of 578. In India, one cannot qualify for the finals with a score of less than 581. Saurabh Chaudhary’s coach simply said it was not his day.
“It happens. In shooting we say ‘shit happens’,” said Samresh Jung, Chaudhary’s coach. “Finals are not meant for shooters. It’s meant for public. Normally, you come to the qualification shooting event, you have a lot of time. But in the final, you have no rhythm,” he added. “In my opinion no one can say anything negative about his performance. He doesn’t give up. If he’s struggling in the middle, he’s always trying to work on it.”
Saurabh’s first Olympics performance was still a formidable one, and showed great potential for the youngster in the future. He has a chance to redeem himself soon as he will take to the range again, this time with his partner Manu Bhaker, as they get ready to take on the mixed team 10m air pistol.