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Shooters in spotlight at Youth Olympic Games in Argentina

first_imgAs Indian under-18 contingent departed for Buenos Aires on Monday night for the Youth Olympics Games (YOG) from October 6, the spotlight was on the star-studded shooting brigade, whose medal-winning run at various world-class events is fresh in minds of everyone.Having a line-up of Saurabh Chaudhury, Manu Bhaker, Mehuli Ghosh and Tushar Mane, the expectations of winning more than one gold medal are high. The quartet has won eight medals among them at varied marquee events this year.Flag bearer of Indian contingent at the YOG, Bhaker, who was shocked to find out that Indians are yet to clinch gold at the quadrennial event, said the nation chances of winning the historic first yellow metal are high as having someone like Saurabh Chaudhary, whom she rates better than her, makes it almost a certainty.”I think the shooting team can live up to the expectation of winning the first gold medal at the Youth Olympics because we have someone like Saurabh Chaudhary among our ranks who I think will surely win it. I feel he is a better shooter than me and his performance at the Asian Games and World Championship in Korea really proves that,” admits the 16-year-old shooter during the send-off ceremony by Indian Olympics Association on Monday.Saurabh will be aiming for gold in boys’ 10m air pistol and will team up with Manu for the 10 air pistol mixed event; Manu will also be in contention in girls’ 10m air pistol. While Mehuli and Tushar will be vying for medal together in the 10m air rifle mixed team and also in the individual events.advertisementManu said that the morale of all the shooters are very high given what they all have achieved over the year.”The entire team is feeling very confident and we have set the bar high for ourselves because we all have succeeded in winning medal at major events this year and each of us is aware that we are in the team because we have earned it, so all of us are feeling confident to continue doing the same,” the Haryana girl told Mail Today.Manu also added that she is not bogged down with the pressure that comes being the flag bearer, coupled with the fact that she returned empty-handed from Asian Games and ISSF World Championship in Changwon, South Korea as she is satisfied with her performance.”I know people think there is a downfall in my performance because I haven’t won any medal at Asian Games and World Championship. If you look at my score in Jakarta, I scored 593 during the qualification round, which is something I have never done before. Even in Changwon, I scored 584, which has been my regular score at any given tournament this year. I have kept my score in the regions of 580’s to 590’s regularly. So I am not worried as far as my performance is concerned.However, shooting is not the only discipline where India is feeling positive about their chances of breaking into the gold medal club as badminton prodigy Lakshya Sen, who is seeded second in the individual event, will be vying for top laurel. Also, ITTF World junior No.3 Manav Thakkar will pose a serious threat to Chinese and Japanese paddlers in table tennis individual event.last_img read more

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