The 18th Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang are making headlines in India as Indian athletes continue to make India proud by winning medals in various sports at Day 7.
Recently, Saurabh Chaudhary, a humble sugarcane farmer’s son from Meerut became an ace shooter at such a young age.
Many people are wondering how can someone win gold in shooting at such a young age. The answer lies in the Baghpat rifle club where he trains. ‘Our aim is Olympics’, reads the graffiti on the walls of the Veer Shahmal Rifle Club where Saurabh started his journey three years ago.
As part of practice, students at the shooting range are made to stretch their arms, like it is done while holding a gun, and hang a bangle-like strap on their wrist attached to a brick with a weight according to their age.
Amit Sheoran, a resident of Baghpat’s Johri village which is famous for producing medal-winning shooters, the club had just one air rifle and one air pistol in the beginning, with four students who wanted to learn shooting.
“I couldn’t pursue shooting as a career, but I am living my dream through students like him,” said Sheoran, adding that his heart longs for an Olympic gold.
“When I started the rifle club, I did not have much money. In fact, the land on which the range is set up was given to me by my maternal uncle. Due to a fund crunch, I devised techniques like using a bangle-like strap attached to a brick to improve grip.
“Initially, we used just a rope, but later we brought in plastic bands so that students do not end up hurting their wrists,” Saurabh’s coach said.
Among the prodigies produced at the shooting range is Deependra Singh, who had won gold and set a world record of 238.3 in the men’s 10m air pistol event at the Para Shooting World Cup in Bangkok in 2017.
“It isn’t about world-class equipment or facilities. It’s about the hard work you put in and how determined you are to do well,” said Sheoran.
At Asian Games, India participated in 34 sports out of the total 40. There are at least 312 men and 258 women athletes from India who participated in the sporting extravaganza.
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