Unfazed by his opponents reputation, India’s young shooting superstar Saurabh Chaudhary is confident that his strong preparations will help him to build on his stellar performance of 2018 and is hopeful of producing favorable results in upcoming ISSF World Cup Rifle/Pistol which is scheduled to take place in the capital city from February 20 to 28th at Karni Singh shooting range.
“My training is going very good and I am happy about it. I am hopeful of producing good performances this time too. It doesn’t matter to me who my opponent is, whether it’s an experienced campaigner or a newcomer. I just believe in my preparations and it is the only factor that matters to me.”
In shooting particularly junior shooters can take part in the senior events as well as there is no restrictions in terms of age of the participating athlete and asked about if there is any sort of different preparations which he takes care of while preparing, 16-year old Saurabh, who won back to back Gold medals in Asian Games and Youth Olympics in the latter half of 2018 said there is nothing different in terms of preparations as his focus always remains in delivering his best.
“I don’t prepare according to the tournament standards because there is stiff competition in each one, so my focus always remains in delivering my best.”
On being asked if there’s any sort of pressure over him after his stellar performance of the previous year and all eyes focused on him, the young achiever said, he feels good about his yesteryear performance but isn’t worried about pressure situation at all.
“It feels good to deliver strong performance on the range and bring laurels for the country. And since my preparations is going very well so there isn’t any pressure sort of situation.”
Talking about ups and downs in sport he said that it is part of the game and it is not always necessary that every time the results are favourable.
“Ups and Downs are part and parcel of sport. It is not like that every time I will be the only one winning Gold. Winning obviously is a nice thing but winning everytime is not fixed, so it goes on in sports.”
With 16 Tokyo Olympics quota places up for grabs in the tournament starting from 20th, India is still able to extract a maximum of 14 considering that Anjum Moudgil and Apurvi Chandela have already booked their quotas in the women’s 10m Air Rifle and NRAI chief Raninder expects a healthy outcome from the 34-member home squad.
“We have a top fighting fit squad and a good mix of senior shooters and young turks, who have proved their mettle time and again in world class international competitions. I am confident of a good showing and we look to bag the maximum number of quotas possible,” he said.
“Realistically, I expect anything between two to four quotas. But in shooting, it is all about how you do on that particular day. So, we can get more also,” NRAI chief Singh added.
In all, 495 athletes from 58 nations will be converging at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range (KSSR) when competitions begin in right earnest with the first final slated for February 23.
Only the two Mixed Team events, one each in Air Rifle and Air Pistol, out of the 10 events will have no quotas on offer.