What were you doing at the age of 16? Celebrating life outside school, or thinking about vacationing with friends and enjoying the finer things in life? Well, we’ve all been in that happy place when we were in our teens but there’s someone who had a whole different agenda in mind.
We’re talking about India’s finest prodigy in shooting – Saurabh Chaudhary. The teenage sensation who shot to glory when he won the gold medal for 10m air pistol at the Asian Games in 2018, at just the age of 16.
The wonder boy has done it again at the ISSF World Cup in Munich this week, winning another gold and smashing his own previous record of 245. The now 17-year-old, who had already booked India’s quota for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics during his maiden World Cup tournament in New Delhi in February, scored an impressive 246.3 to seal the winning spot.
There’s no stopping the young man from reaching new heights in the sport, but what got him here, and why is there so little known about the wonder boy? Here are a few facts.
Born to a family of farmers
Saurabh was born in the small village of Kalina which lies in the Meerut district of Uttar Pradesh. Coming from a background of farming, Saurabh has often revealed that it is something he likes to do. (When he’s not spending most of his time in his shooting range)
Almost invisible in his village
Known for his introvert personality, you will hardly see Saurabh out and about in his village of Kalina. While he spends most of his time in his private shooting range at home, Saurabh has dedicated almost all of his day’s time to the sport. A true sign of dedication champions hold, Saurabh is a natural athlete with his mind focused on just one thing – shooting.
Undying commitment and talent
For someone who started out at the tender age of 13, Saurabh was a talent-house from day one. His coach, Amit Sheoran, was shocked the first time Saurabh picked up a gun.
“His scores were too good. In three or four months, he showed he can bring good results. I asked his brother Nitin to buy the pistol for Saurabh because I knew he will do well in the coming years,” he said.
Major changes in family life
Since the time Saurabh Chaudhary pursued shooting, his family who was unaware of the sport eventually had to take major decisions. Buying Saurabh his own pistol worth Rs. Two Lakhs was the first difficult decision. The second was to redo the cattle shelter into a shooting range, that would save Saurabh time and energy to travel to his training center. Making major changes in the family life was all proof of the trust, love, and pride his family had in him.
Ever since he shot to fame, very less has been revealed of the wonder boy’s life. Known to be very short worded and introverted to the outside world, many have tried to get inside his mind, but have failed. Journalists, at most of his events, receive only one sentence answers to their questions. Even his family revealed that Saurabh has always been a quiet boy, give him a pistol and he is in his element.
With the medal-winning spree, Saurabh is in, we’re backing him with all our strength for the Tokyo Olympics next year. Maybe in time, we will know a little more about the quiet and shy ‘shooting star’ of India.