Sharp Shooter | The Sports Stars

first_imgIn Kalina, located in the Rohta block of Meerut district in Uttar Pradesh, there lives a star-a shooting star. It’s easy to find him too: the walls of the narrow lanes leading to Saurabh Chaudhary’s house are emblazoned with the slogan, ‘Kalina ki shaan, Hindustan ki aan (Kalina’s splendour, Hindustan’s,In Kalina, located in the Rohta block of Meerut district in Uttar Pradesh, there lives a star-a shooting star. It’s easy to find him too: the walls of the narrow lanes leading to Saurabh Chaudhary’s house are emblazoned with the slogan, ‘Kalina ki shaan, Hindustan ki aan (Kalina’s splendour, Hindustan’s pride)-Golden Boy Saurabh’.Born to a sugarcane farmer and the youngest of three siblings, Chaudhary took to shooting at 13, travelling 15 km to Baghpat’s Binauli village to train at the Veer Shahmal Rifle Club. Father Jagmohan wasn’t that happy. “Saurabh was very good in studies, especially in English and Maths,” he says. “I wanted him to prepare for medicine or engineering, but after seeing his passion for shooting, I gave permission.”Veer Shahmal academy founder and coach Amit Sheoran, himself a state-level shooter, sensed early on that he had a prodigy on his hands who was eager to practise even 10 hours a day. Unable to afford his own pistol, Chaudhary started by using Sheoran’s. “After six months, I knew he had the qualities to become an international-level shooter,” says Sheoran.Soon, a small range was built at home and Jagmohan borrowed Rs 1.5 lakh to purchase a Swiss-made weapon. “Shooting isn’t a game, it’s worship for me,” says Chaudhary. “Right now, I want to win every international shooting competition for my country.”And he’s well on his way. In 2018, he has won the gold at the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires and at the Asian Games, bettered his own junior world record at the world championship in Changwon, Korea, and finished on top at the Junior World Cup in Germany and the Asian Air Gun Championship in Kuwait.advertisementTechnically proficient and assured, Sheoran says Chaudhary’s monk-like focus allows him to soak up the pressure. For Jaspal Rana, national chief youth coach, Chaudhary’s consistency and success come from the teenager’s no-frills lifestyle. Next year will be key as Chaudhary begins competing in senior tournaments so as to have a shot at Olympics 2020. Between the shooting range and the field where he helps his father, young Chaudhary has his priorities right.last_img