Saurabh Chaudhary shines at National shooting selection trials

Saurabh, who had won six gold medals in World Cups in 2019 before the world was swept by the pandemic, shot 590 in qualification and topped the finals with a world record score of 246.9

Saurabh Chaudhary came up with a commendable fare to assert his class in men’s air pistol in the National shooting selection trials.   -  FILE PHOTO/KAMESH SRINIVASAN

After months of training at home, Asian Games gold medallist Saurabh Chaudhary came up with a commendable fare to assert his class in men’s air pistol in the National shooting selection trials at the Dr. Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad, on Friday.

Even before the trials, high performance pistol coach Samaresh Jung had observed that Saurabh was shooting close to his best during the training camp. The 18-year-old, who had won six gold medals in World Cups in 2019 before the world was swept by the pandemic, shot 590 in qualification and topped the finals with a world record score of 246.9.

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The men’s world record of 246.5 is held by Kim Song Guk of Korea, while the women’s world record of 246.9 was shot by Zorana Arunovic of Serbia in 2017.

The difference between Saurabh and the rest was such that the second best qualification score was 584 by Sarabjot Singh and Shahzar Rizvi, while Amanpreet Singh’s 244.5 was the second best in the final.

The second Olympic quota winner in the event, Abhishek Verma, who had also won two individual gold medals in World Cups in 2019, placed fourth behind Shiva Narwal.

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Guarav Rana and Omprakash Mitharval were the others to make the final. Manu Bhaker was also in brilliant form as she topped the women’s air pistol with 239.3 in the final, and 580 in qualification. Shri Nivetha was 1.1 point behind Manu, while Neha placed third. The young Esha Singh who had shot 576 in qualification, slipped to the fourth place.

The second Olympic quota winner in the event, Yashaswini Singh Deswal shot 570 in qualification and did not shoot the final.

Manu had shown her class earlier in the second trial of the 25-metre spots pistol on Thursday, as she topped qualification with 590. However, it was Rahi Sarnobat once again who reached the top in the final, as she pipped the other Olympic quota winner in the event, Chinki Yadav 38-37.

Olympian Annu Raj Singh placed third, while Tejaswini, Abhdnya Patil, Neeraj Kaur and Neha were the others to make the final.

The results:

Men: 10m air pistol: 1. Saurabh Chaudhary 246.9 (590); 2. Amanpreet Singh 244.5 (580); 3. Shiva Narwal 223.3 (579).

Women: 10m air pistol: 1. Manu Bhaker 239.3 (580); 2. Shiri Nivetha 238.2 (572); 3. Neha 217.4 (571).

25m sports pistol: 1. Rahi Sarnobat 38 (582); 2. Chiki Yadav 37 (584); 3. Annu Raj Singh 29 (575).