A World Cup gold medal with a world record score, to go with earning Olympic quota as an icing on the cake, young Saurabh Chaudhary could have hardly asked for more at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range in New Delhi but the youngster said his sole focus was on giving his best shot.
Chaudhary, who also holds the junior world record, smashed the senior record on his way to the men’s 10m air pistol gold with at the ISSF World Cup.
He finished with a total score of 245, also securing an Olympic quota for India in the process.
“I was not thinking about the world record. If I had thought about making a record then it would not have been possible, neither was I thinking about the Olympic quota, I just wanted to give my best,” the 16-year-old said after the win.
Chaudhary, whose every shot were met by ecstatic cheers from the crowd, said it was special winning at home.
“To win a medal in front of the home crowd, in my first senior World Cup was superb. The crowd was similar to the Asian Games,” the teenager said.
He may have dominated the final event from the start, finishing 5.7 points ahead of the silver medallist but assessed that the field was tough.
“This being my first senior final, I felt the pressure in the morning. The competition was hard. I was aware of my lead but didn’t let it get to my head. I was not thinking about the quota, just wanted to give my best,” he said.
While it was ecstasy for Chaudhary, Manu Bhaker faced disappointment, finishing fifth in the 25m pistol event and was shattered by the defeat.
“I tried my best. I don’t know what happened,” Manu said.
Asked if she was nervous or felt burdened by the expectation of the home crowd she said: “The support was great. There was no pressure I was just happy India is hosting the World Cup.”
Asked whether the injury to her left arm caused her problems Bhaker insisted that she was fully fit.
“l had some problems with my left arm till February 21 but now it’s fine. That is not the reason for my bad performance today,” said Bhaker.
The youngster said that she is yet to figure out why she is having a final jinx.
“I do not know about the mistakes I committed right now. My monitor was on the other side so I couldn’t see it properly. My performance in 25m throughout last year has been 4th, 5th or 6th position. I don’t know what’s wrong,” she said.
She had finished sixth in the Asian Games and fifth at the ISSF World Cup in Mexico last year.
“I am focussing on 10m now,” she said, speaking of her pet event.