Drawing confidence from Saurabh Chaudhary's Zen-like calm and lethal efficiency with pistol, shooting coach Amit Sheoran says his most famous ward will be well-placed both mentally and skill-wise whenever the Olympics are held.
It doesn't matter to the world-beater if the next Summer Games are held tomorrow, after a year or even after 10 years, according to the coach. "He is not at all affected by postponement of the Olympics or even the uncertainty around the Games at the moment. He says whether it's held now or next year or even after 10 years, it's beyond anyone's control and his job is to only prepare and prepare to the best of his ability so that he is in with a chance in competitions," Sheoran told PTI.
Having worked with him for years now, the coach understands very well that Chaudhary is always less troubled than others by anything, or, to put it in another way, more at ease than his equally talented compatriots. All these despite him being only a 17-year-old.
Saurabh Chaudhary (Source: ISSF)
The gum-chewing Chaudhary will have entered adulthood by the time the next Olympics Games are held but Sheoran has not an iota of doubt that he will carry with him his Zen master-like composure and exceptionally high level of skill of his youth into his next phase of life. The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed back the Tokyo Olympics by a year and there are also concerns that if the situation is not normalised in the coming months, the Games might be called off.
Sheoran, who runs a shooting academy in Binauli, a small town in Uttar Pradesh's Baghpat district, says Chaudhary is only focussed in training, which he is now doing three times a day at his home range in Kalina, Meerut. "He continues with his extensive training regime -- three hours in morning, two hours in evening and two hours at night. He simply has no time for anything else. Of course, looking at what is happening around the world, like everyone else he also feels sad, but given that he is a shy and private person, he is also liking the peace that accompanies the lockdown," Sheoran said of the reticent marksman.
The coach, whose school has produced a few national and international level shooters, says Chaudhary doesn't think about the fact that he could not enter his first Olympics in prime form. At one point at the age of 16, Chaudhary held both the junior and senior world record scores in the men's 10m air pistol event. The Youth Olympics and Asian Games gold medallist bettered his own world record to win the men's 10m air pistol event at the National Shooting trials last September. A few months later, in January, the champion shooter asserted his class yet again as he won the men's gold in 10-metre air pistol in the 63rd National shooting championship. While Chaudhary remains his biggest find, Sheoran, who was a national level shooter himself, also has high hopes from Deependra Singh, who has already qualified for the next Paralympics Games, and Yuvika Tomar among others.