India’s medal tally soared as shooting gave India another champion in Saurabh Chaudhary, as the baby-faced marksman bossed around to claim the 10m air pistol gold at the Youth Olympics, while Archana Kamath’s stunning run in table tennis ended in the semifinals at Buenos Aires Wednesday.
The 16-year-old Chaudhary dominated the final, shooting 244.2 to finish on top of the podium ahead of South Korea’s Sung Yunho (236.7). Switzerland’s Solari Jason bagged the bronze with 215.6.
The Indian had a staggering 18 scores of 10 and above in the eight-man finals.
Around the time the Chaudhary was calling the shots at the at the Parque Polideportivo Roca shooting range, Kamath’s run in the table tennis competition was coming to an end. She lost in the semifinals 1-4 after valiantly trying to unravel the second seed from China, Yingsha Sun, in a tense encounter.
Archana still remained in the running for the bronze medal though, as she was to take on Romania’s Andreea DragoShooting Gold
Youth Olypics Highlightsman later in the evening.
The country’s under-18 women’s hockey team hammered Vanuatu 16-0 in its third match of the five-a-side competition.
Forward Mumtaz Khan (8th, 11th, 12th, 15th) scored four times and Chetna scored thrice (6th, 14th, 17th) to help India achieve the dominating win.
Shooting again turned out to be the most productive sport for India.
Chaudhary, an Asian Games and Junior ISSF World Championship gold medallist, also topped the qualifying with 580.
Hailing from Kalina village near Meerut, Chaudhary led from start to finish to emerge winner, a day after another 16-year-old, Manu Bhaker, won the women’s pistol event.
Despite four scores of under 10 to start with, Chaudhary managed to stay ahead and then extended his domination with scores of 10.7 10.4 10.4 and 10.0.
He continued to lead the pack as the finals entered the elimination stage.
Chaudhary led at the end of stage 1 despite shooting under 10 in four attempts. While a high 10.8 was his best in the first series, in the second series of first stage he had four scores of 10 and above, including a 10.7, which placed him way ahead of the rest of the pack.
This despite an equally impressive series of 10.0 10.7 10.2 and 10.1 by Switzerland’s Solari Jason.
An 8.5 saw the Swiss being pipped by Korea’s Sung Yunho, even as the Indian continued to produce excellent scores.
Saurabh had two slow starts in the day, the first in qualifying when he was briefly placed 11th in the 20-man field before stamping his class with a solid 580 over 60 shots to top the standings.
Then he began slowly in the finals, but then literally decimated the field, opening up leads of 0.8 after five shots, 2.9 after 10 shots, a full five points after the 18th shot and eventually finished with 244.2, a full 7.5 points clear of silver winning Korean Sung Yunho, who finished with 236.7.
This was India’s fourth podium from shooting in four days, as the four individual shooters at the Games – Shahu Mane, Mehuli Ghosh, Many Bhaker and Chaudhary — won two gold and two silver medals between them.
Chaudhary topped the qualifying with 580.
Earlier in the morning, the 18-year-old paddler from Karnataka created history by becoming the first Indian ever to enter the semifinals of the Youth Olympics. She defeated Azerbaijan’s Ning Jing 4-3 to achieve this amazing feat.
Archana had her opportunity in the fourth game, when she raced away to 5-0 lead and literally toyed with Yingsha to win it 11-1. But her loss in the first three games at 3, 7 and 6 had left her a mountain to climb.
She fought valiantly in the fifth game, which proved to be the decider, but Yingsha had recovered her poise to unleash a series of winners.
In women’s hockey, India’s under-18 women’s hockey team hammered Vanuatu 16-0 in its third match of the five-a-side competition.