Saurabh Chaudhary is India’s top contender for a Tokyo 2020 medal across all sports. He has won individual medals at almost all ISSF tournaments he has participated in and also won gold at the 2018 Asian Games. He and Manu Bhaker have a 100% medal success rate when it comes to the 10m Air Pistol Mixed Team.
His qualification scores have never been below 580, the score that separates elite shooters from good ones at the top international level. He has already got a Youth Olympics gold to his name and would be looking to add a senior-level gold at the Tokyo Olympics. While Saurabh Chaudhary’s international achievements are widely known, there is comparatively little information about his family.
Saurabh Chaudhary’s Family
Saurabh Chaudhary hails from Kalina village, Meerut in western Uttar Pradesh. His father Jagmohan Singh Chaudhary is a sugarcane farmer while his mother Brajesh Devi is a homemaker. He has two elder siblings, brother Nitin and sister Sakshi.
Saurabh developed an interest in shooting right from his childhood days. “It had all started with plastic guns that he purchased during his childhood days, which further moved to aim balloons at shooting stalls in fairs. Who knew he would practice the sport with such hard work that he will clinch a gold medal for the country in Asian Games“, his brother Nitin explained after 16-year old Saurabh won gold at the Asiad.
Saurabh regards shooting coach Amit Sheoran as his guru. Sheoran discovered Saurabh’s talent when the latter would come to practice at the Veer Shahmal Rifle Club, Baghpat as 13-year old. Saurabh would travel 15km by bus to reach the shooting range and would be the only shooter left in practice long after others were gone. His father meanwhile took loans to ensure Saurabh gets a good pistol and other equipment.
All the hard work and dedication paid off. Saurabh won gold in the 2018 Khelo India Games and beat Jitu Rai in the Shooting Nationals. Later that year he was the Asian Games Champion, Junior World Champion, and Youth Olympics Champion.
By 2019 he was an indispensable part of the Indian team. This year he has won two ISSF medals, silver at Delhi and a bronze at Osijek. He is certainly one of the favourites for a medal at Tokyo if his past performances are any indication.
Saurabh Chaudhary’s story is an example of how a good coach and supportive families can nurture champions in India. If he wins a medal in Tokyo, he can inspire several others coming from humble backgrounds.