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Tokyo Olympics: India's Saurabh Chaudhary qualifies for 10m air pistol men's final

While Apurvi Chandela and Elavenil Valarivan were knocked out in the qualification round of the event of the women’s 10m air rifle

Tokyo Olympics: Indias Saurabh Chaudhary qualifies for 10m air pistol mens final
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Tokyo Olympics: India’s Saurabh Chaudhary qualifies for 10m air pistol men’s final

While Apurvi Chandela and Elavenil Valarivan were knocked out in the qualification round of the event of the women's 10m air rifle, Saurabh Chaudhary, world No 2, gave a fillip to India's chances of winning a medal on its first day at the Olympics. Only eight of the 36 shooters could have qualified for the men's 10m air pistol event final at 12 IST, and Chaudhary did so in impressive fashion.

Chaudhary, shooting from lane 45 started off with 95 points from his first series. A total of 60 shots are fired in the qualification round of the 10m air pistol within 75 minutes. There were six series of 10 shots each. Chaudhary's first five shots were all 10s; his next five were 9s. In his second series, Chaudhary got 98 points and jumped to number nine. He scored 98 in the third series, too, jumping to number three. He had an incredible run of 10s from shot number 26 to 48. He got 100 in his fourth series. He took the number one spot in his fifth series, ending it with 98 points. He finished his last series with 97 points, ending up with a total of 586 points. He qualified top of the table.

Saurabh Chaudhary is an eight-time ISSF medallist since he joined the national squad post the 2016 Rio Olympics.

He was the only Indian on TIME's recent list of athletes to watch out for in Tokyo. World No 1 Abhishek Verma, shooting from lane 38, failed to qualify. He took his time to complete his first series. The world No 1 ended it with 94 points. His next series gave him 96 points. He did better in his third, getting 98 points. He got 97 in his next and broke into the top ten. He improved steadily throughout the event, getting straight 10s from shot 35 to 46. He ended his fifth series with 98 points.

In his last series, he faltered in his 59th and 60th shots, scoring eights. He dropped to number 17. He got only 92 points in his last series and ended up with a total of 575 points.

China's Bowen Zhang finished second with 586 points, and German Christian Reitz ended up with 584.

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