New Delhi: Unfazed by a field comprising seasoned campaigners, teenager Saurabh Chaudhary smashed the world record to win gold in the ISSF World Cup here Sunday, securing India’s third Olympic quota.
Appearing in his maiden senior World Cup, the 16-year-old claimed the top honours without much fuss in the men’s 10m air pistol event at the season-opening International Shooting Sport Federation event. The Asian Games and Youth Olympics gold medallist ended the event with a total score of 245.
Dami Mikec of Serbia was second in the podium with a score of 239.3, while the bronze medal was bagged by 2008 Olympic champion Wei Pang of China, who managed 215.2. Such was his dominance in the eight-men final that he finished the event 5.7 points ahead of the silver medallist, the gold assured even before his final shot.
Chaudhary, who started strongly finished tied on top with Serbian Mikec at the end of the first series. In the second series, the champion shooter continued his good form and finished at the top. Other Indians competing in the event, Abhishek Verma and Ravinder Singh, failed to qualify for the final.
Both Abhishek are Ravinder finished with a total score of 576 in the qualification round. Chaudhary shot 19 scores above 10. The Indian also holds the world record in 10m air pistol event in the junior category and that is higher than the senior world record he made on Sunday.
Last year, Chaudhary also won gold at the Junior World Cup in Suhl, Germany, in addition to being crowned junior world champion and Youth Olympic champion. He has won one gold and one silver at the Junior Asian Championships, and a gold at a Youth Asian Championship.
In qualification, Chaudhary finished third with a score of 587 (20x), behind 588 (27x) shot by Lee Daemyung of South Korea and 587 (23x) shot by Pang Wei. In the men’s 50m rifle 3 positions event, Indian shooters failed to qualify for the final as Hungary’s Istvan Peni claimed the gold medal.
Parul Kumar was ranked 22nd in the qualification with a total score of 1170, while Sanjeev Rajput finished 25th with 1169.
This was India’s second medal in the tournament, with Apurvi Chandela winning a gold in the women’s 10m air rifle category on Saturday. Chandela and Anjum Moudgil had secured the first two Olympic quotas in shooting in the ISSF World Championships in Korea last year.