Saurabh Chaudhary recaptured a semblance of his sure touch, especially at the business end of the finals, in topping air pistol in the sixth National shooting selection trials at the Dr. Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad, on Thursday.
Olympic finalist, multiple World Cup gold medallist, Asian Games champion, Youth Olympics champion and junior World Champion, the 21-year-old Saurabh has been grappling with his form for about a year, unable to make the national team.
Saurabh did well to make the final with a score of 582, along with another former World No.1 and Asian Games medallist Abhishek Verma. Enduring a string of 9s in the final, Saurabh was at his competitive best in the climax, delivering 10.4 on the last two shots to beat Ujjawal Malik by 1.8 points for the top spot. Udhayveer Sidhu finished third following an 8.3 on the 22nd shot. Abhishek Verma placed sixth.
More impressive was the manner in which Olympic quota winner Swapnil Kusale dominated the 50-metre rifle 3-position event, beating Niraj Kumar by five points in the final, after topping qualification with 591. Olympian Deepak Kumar also shot well to climb to the third spot.
In the junior event, Adriyan Karmakar, son of Olympic finalist Joydeep Karmakar, topped the final with 457.8 after topping the qualification field with 587.
In women’s air pistol, Manu Bhaker was too good in the final after a modest 575 in qualification. Qualification topper Ruchita Vinerkar placed third behind Surbhi Rao. Olympian Yashaswini Deswal was fourth ahead of Padma Devaram, Priya Raghav, Rhythm Sangwan and Olympian Annu Raj Singh.
10m air pistol: Men: 1. Saurabh Chaudhary 242.2 (582); 2. Ujjawal Malik 240.4 (582); 3. Udhayveer Sidhu 218.6 (580).
Juniors: 1. Samrat Rana 246.4 (581); 2. Paras Khola 243.2 (582); 3. Vivek 222.3 (578).
Women: 1. Manu Bhaker 242.8 (575); 2. Surbhi Rao 238.1 (575); 3. Ruchita Vinerkar 217.6 (580).
Juniors: 1. Suruchi 241.3 (580); 2. Mansi Anand 240.0 (577); 3. Simranpreet Kaur Brar 218.3 (574).
50m rifle 3-position: Men: 1. Swapnil Kusale 461.6 (591); 2. Niraj Kumar 456.6 (585); 3. Deepak Kumar 442.8 (585).
Juniors: 1. Adriyan Karmakar 457.8 (587); 2. Vedant Waghmare 453.1 (581); 3. Shivam Dabas 441.9 (577).
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