One of India’s best medal hopes at the Tokyo Olympics, Saurabh Chaudhary absolutely aced the qualifying round in the 10m Air Pistol and progressed to the final, finishing at the top of the charts. Saurabh finished with a score of 586/600 while his compatriot and teammate Abhishek Verma, World Number 3, found it tough to get going initially before making a comeback but could not do enough eventually.
19-year-old Saurabh became the first Indian to qualify for an Olympic final at Tokyo. China's Zhang Bowen also finished with the same score as Saurabh but was second. The final will be at 12 noon IST.
Saurabh started off his qualifying round in sublime manner, scoring 50/50 off the first 5 shots before a series of 9s pushed him back briefly. The youngster though roared back with 16 10s and 4 9s in the second and third series which moved him back up the rankings. After that in the fourth series Saurabh shot 100/100, putting the few 9s well in the background at his first Olympic Games.
Saurabh continued his fine form in the qualifying and very quickly rose to the top of the charts, firing 20 10s up until halfway in the fifth series. After 4 more 10s, he hit two 9 to end series 5 with 98 and an overall score of 489.
Saurabh continued his fine form in the qualifying and very quickly rose to the top of the charts, firing 20 10s up until halfway in the fifth series. After 4 more 10s, he hit two 9 to end series 5 with 98 and an overall score of 489. Saurabh added another 97 in the final series to take his score to 586, 5 more than Ukraine’s Pavlo Korostylov who totalled 581. Saurabh finished with three 9s and 2 10s in the last five shots.
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On the other hand, India’s second contestant in the 10m Air Pistol event, Abhishek Verma however found it difficult to get his rhythm going. A mix of 9s and 10s in the first couple of series saw him fall back a little. The World Number 3 though had a similar start in the last World Cup but still shot his way out of trouble. His first three series saw him shoot 94, 96, 98 before the fourth fetched him another 97. A series of 10 10s in the fourth and fifth series though pushed him back up the rankings, into the top 10.
Abhishek had found his rhythm in the second half of his qualification round and was quickly moving up the table. His fifth series added another 98 points and he finished with a score of 92 in the final series and an overall score 575/600.
Abhishek eventually finished 17th and was knocked out while Saurabh went through to the final.
. Read more on Olympic Sports by The Quint.Day 1, Tokyo Olympics: Saurabh Tops Qualifiers, Mirabai Final UnderwayTokyo Olympics: In-form Saurabh Tops 10m Air Pistol Qualifying; Abhishek Falters . Read more on Olympic Sports by The Quint.