Saurabh tops junior 10m air pistol at Shooting Worlds

Changwon (South Korea), Sep 6: A couple of weeks after his triumph at the Asian Games, Indias Saurabh Chaudhary hunted down yet another gold medal as he won the mens junior 10m air pistol title, even as teammate Arjun Singh Cheema took a bronze medal at the 52nd ISSF World Championships here on Thursday.

Saurabh, 16, produced a world record score of 245.5 shattering the previous world record of 243.7 points, a record he had set at the ISSF Junior World Cup on June 26 to finish ahead of South Korean Lim Honjin (243.1) and Arjun (218.0).

Hojin had won a silver medal also at this years ISSF Junior World Cup in Suhl, finishing behind Saurabh and his record scores. And on Thursday, the result didnt change as the Indian gained the lead after a superb 10.9 on his eighth shot in the first competition stage.

From there on, he kept on piling up advantage over his opponents who missed some crucial shots, failing to catch up with him. At the end of the first competition stage, Saurabh had 103.0, while Hojin had 102.1 and Arjun had 101.0.

In the second competition stage — elimination round — Saurabh continued to widen the gap against Hojin and Arjun. With more than a four-point lead after the seventh series, it was easy for Saurabh even though Hojin tried his best to erase the deficit.

Arjun exited the competition after the eighth series with a total of 218.0. At this juncture, Saurabh had 225.0, while Hojin had 222.4 as the two shooters went into the ninth and final round.

In the final round, the Meerut talent shot 10.6 and 9.9, while Hojin came up with 10.0 and 10.7. However, the South Korean finished 2.4 points behind the Indian, who claimed the title.

Dionysios Korakakis finished fourth with 197.4, besting Italys Paolo Monna (5th with 178.3 points), the second South Korea finalist Sung Yunho (6th with 156.9 points), Chinas Xie Yu (7th with 135.4 points) and Germanys Robin Walter (8th with 114.8 points).

In the team event in this category, South Korea clinched the gold with a new junior world record of 1732 points, scored by Hojin, Sung Yunho and Shin Okcheol.

India, comprising Saurabh, Arjun and Anmol, finished in second place with 1730 points. Russias team of Alexander Petrov, Aleksandr Kondrashin and Anton Aristarkhov came third with 1711 points.

Meanwhile, in the mens 10m air pistol competition, Abhishek Verma finished eighth and last with 118.0 points.

In the mens junior trap event, Aman Ali Elahi was sixth and last with 10 points.

With 14 medals (four gold, six silver, four bronze), India stands at the third spot, behind South Korea (20) and Russia (15).

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