Saurabh Chaudhary strikes gold in Youth Olympics

Saurabh beat Korean Sung Yunho by 7.5 points to clinch the air pistol gold in style.

Saurabh Chaudhary had won the men’s air pistol gold at the Asian Games this year.   -  AP

Asian Games gold medallist and the junior World Champion, 16-year-old Saurabh Chaudhary had little difficulty in outclassing the field to clinch the air pistol gold in the Youth Olympics on Wednesday.

After topping the qualification with 580 out of 600, jointly with Erfan Salavati of Iran who incidentally finished fifth, Saurabh overcame a shaky start in the first five shots to gain a stranglehold over the proceedings.

Around the half way stage in the 24-shot final, Saurabh garnered a five-point lead over the rest and sailed through the climax by consistently hitting the 10s. With a total of 244.2, which was only short of his own world junior record of 245.5, Saurabh beat Korean Sung Yunho, who had qualified with a modest 569, by 7.5 points to clinch the gold in style.

After the two silver medals through rifle shooters Shahu Tushar Mane and Mehuli Ghosh, and the gold by Manu Bhaker, it is a 100 per cent strike rate for India by the four-member shooting squad.

It must be a particularly pleasing experience for coach Jaspal Rana who has been diligently marshalling the junior shooters in the last few years, and was on hand to guide them in the Youth Olympics in Argentina.

There may be more shooting medals in store, as there will be the mixed air rifle and air pistol events.

The results:

Men: Air pistol: 1. Saurabh Chaudhary 244.2 (580); 2. Sung Yunho (Kor) 236.7 (569); 3. Jason Solari (Sui) 215.6 (570).