Was inspired by cousin Saurabh Chaudhary, will train hard for Paris Olympics, says Varun Tomar

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-PTI

Promising shooter Varun Tomar always wanted to be like his cousin, Olympian Saurabh Chaudhary, and on Monday the 20-year-old took a giant step towards achieving his goal by securing a quota for the 2024 Paris Games by winning gold medal at the Asian Olympic Qualifiers in Jakarta.

Tomar, who initially trained with multiple-time World Cup gold medallist and 2018 Asian Games champion Chaudhary at his home range in Baghpat district of UP, said the individual gold medal will motivate him to train harder for the 2024 Paris Games.

village in Baghpat, secured India’s 14th Olympic quota place. | Photo Credit: PTI

Promising shooter Varun Tomar always wanted to be like his cousin, Olympian Saurabh Chaudhary, and on Monday the 20-year-old took a giant step towards achieving his goal by securing a quota for the 2024 Paris Games by winning gold medal at the Asian Olympic Qualifiers in Jakarta.

Tomar, who initially trained with multiple-time World Cup gold medallist and 2018 Asian Games champion Chaudhary at his home range in Baghpat district of UP, said the individual gold medal will motivate him to train harder for the 2024 Paris Games.

“I took up shooting seven years back watching my senior cousin Saurabh. He has been my motivation, having struck success early in his career. I always wanted to be like him and achieve international success,” Tomar told PTI from Jakarta.

“I started shooting a year after Saurabh and we both initially had the same coach (Amit Sheoran) in Benoli village of Baghpat,” said Tomar, a former junior world championship gold medallist in team event.

Tomar, who hails from Garhi Kangran village in Baghpat, secured India’s 14th Olympic quota place on the opening day of the competition, clinching both the individual and team gold.

The 20-year-old shot 239.6 in the final of the 10m air pistol event to claim the top position in individual category ahead of compatriot Arjun Cheema (237.3).

Earlier, Tomar (586), Cheema (579) and Ujjawal Malik (575) shot a total of 1740 to win the 10m air pistol team gold.

“It helped that I had someone like Saurabh to take guidance from as I don’t have anyone in the family who is a shooter,” said Tomar, who comes from a farming family.

After nearly seven years of training, Tomar finally got success last year, winning individual bronze medals at the World Cups in Bhopal and Cairo.

Soon he was selected for training at the National Centre of Excellence (NCOE) at the Karni Singh Ranges here and is now employed with the Indian Army.

“I have always appreciated Varun for his calm nature. He is a copy of Saurabh. He hardly interacts with anyone at the range and just keeps to himself, training hard,” said national rifle coach Deepak Dubey here.

“He is still a junior but is learning fast. The success in the two World Cups last year and the individual gold medal today are an indication that he really has a sound technique and temperament,” said Dubey.

“I know for a fact that he got inspired by Saurabh. He came into NCOE about 5-6 months back. He made a place in the Indian team last year and won two medals in World Cups. He has shot some really good scores last year.

“His selection by the Army Marksmanship Unit has given his career a big boost. The fact that he has come up on his own without having a personal coach is indeed creditworthy,” said Dubey.

“He only shoots 10m air pistol and not 25m rapid fire, which helps him give undivided attention to just one discipline. He is just like Saurabh, doesn’t talk much, very disciplined, hard working and very obedient,” added Dubey.

Featured Image: Times Of India

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