Saurabh Chaudhary maybe just 17, but his maturity on the shooting range is that of someone with much more experience.
With a monk-like composure coupled with his immense talent, the Indian pistol shooter has been one of the hottest properties on the international circuit over the past few years.
Be it the ISSF World Cups or multi-discipline events like the Asian Games, the Youth Olympics and the Commonwealth Games, the shooter from Uttar Pradesh has barely returned home empty-handed in his short yet successful career so far.
Having sealed a quota place in the 10m Air Pistol with the then world record score at the 2019 ISSF World Cup in New Delhi, Saurabh Chaudhary - like most of the Olympic hopefuls - was eagerly looking forward to the Games in Tokyo.
But with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing the organisers to push the Games by a year, the athletes have been forced to re-look at their plans.
Moreover, with the pandemic bringing the sporting world to an abrupt halt, it’s the sense of uncertainty that has been bothering the athlete community.
Saurabh Chaudhary unaffected by uncertainties
But if shooting coach Amit Sheoran is to be believed, India’s teenage sensation is barely phased by the ongoing uncertainty.
Having worked with Saurabh Chaudhary from the very beginning, Sheoran understands what lies beneath the marksman’s shy and reserved demeanour. “He is not at all affected by the postponement of the Olympics or even the uncertainty around,” the coach told the Press Trust of India.
“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.”
With a single-minded approach that has seen him scale the heights of a sporting discipline that tests one’s mental toughness, Saurabh Chaudhary has his eyes fixed on the target. And he isn’t stopping for anyone.
With a makeshift range to fall back on at his home in Kalina, Meerut, the 17-year-old shooter is continuing with his extensive training regime.
“He continues with his regime — three hours in the morning, two hours in the evening and two hours at night. He simply has no time for anything else,” his coach said.
“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.”
The shooting season might be suspended, but looks like that hasn’t stopped this talented youngster from pushing himself in search of greater heights.