NEW DELHI: Star marksman Saurabh Chaudhary is one of India’s prime medal contenders at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. His performance over the last four years has made everyone take notice. The 19-year-old has not one or two, but eight shooting World Cup gold medals in his kitty.
Time magazine has also taken note of Chaudhary’s meteoric rise, and has featured the pistol shooter in its recently released list of ‘athletes to watch out for at Tokyo Olympics’. The list, which has 48 elite sportspersons from across the globe, has big names like gymnast Simone Biles, sprinters Allyson Felix, Noah Lyles and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, long distance runner Eliud Kipchoge, swimmers Caeleb Dressel and Katie Ledecky and NBA star Kevin Durant among others.
Saurabh is the only Indian to make it to the coveted list. Besides, the Meerut lad is also the only international shooter to have made the cut.
The magazine wrote about Saurabh: “Marksman Saurabh Chaudhary, 19, is one of India’s best shots at gold in Tokyo. Having only taken up shooting in 2015, he has accumulated an impressive haul of medals: 14 gold and six silver in international competitions. In 2018, he became India’s youngest gold medalist at the Asian Games.
“A year later, Chaudhary set a new junior and senior world record in the 10m air pistol category at the International Shooting Sport Federation World Cup, securing his spot on India’s 15-member shooting team in Tokyo. There, he’ll also pair with Manu Bhaker to form a top contender in the mixed team competition.”
Saurabh, at present, is training at Indian shooting contingent’s European base in Zagreb, Croatia. The contingent will leave for Tokyo from Zagreb on July 16, with the shooting competition in Tokyo beginning on July 24.
At the Olympics, Saurabh will be seen competing in two different events – men’s 10m air pistol and mixed 10m air pistol alongside another teen shooter Manu Bhaker.