(MENAFN- AsiaNet News) Saurabh Chaudhary, once an ascending star in the world of pistol shooting, has experienced a perplexing decline. This decline, however, has not gone unnoticed by outspoken figure Jaspal Rana, who has criticized the national shooting federation and certain coaches for their perceived lack of support during Chaudhary's challenging times. Rana, a Dronacharya awardee, believes that the absence of assistance played a role in Chaudhary's fading from the limelight after achieving great success.
In 2018, Chaudhary gained widespread acclaim within the Indian shooting community when he shattered a world record on his way to a gold medal at the Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang. Nevertheless, five years later, his name is conspicuously absent from India's roster for the upcoming edition of the quadrennial extravaganza in Hangzhou, China.
Jaspal Rana, who served as the junior national team coach during Chaudhary's meteoric rise, expresses sadness over how the 21-year-old shooter from Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh, has been managed during this difficult phase.
Rana questions the whereabouts of the numerous coaches who seemed eager to associate with Chaudhary when he was winning medals consistently. He also raises concerns about the role of the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) in supporting the young athlete.
As someone who observed Chaudhary's ascent closely, Rana coached the Indian junior team when Chaudhary secured a historic gold at the 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires. At that time, Chaudhary was in top form, consistently winning medals, including gold, at international events.
Rana laments the lack of support and guidance for Chaudhary during his difficult phase, contrasting it with his earlier successes. He believed Chaudhary's calm demeanor and talent would help him navigate challenges, but he speculates that conflicting advice from various coaches may have led to confusion.
Before the Tokyo Olympics, Chaudhary was seen as a major medal prospect, even surpassing Neeraj Chopra in javelin throw. However, their fortunes diverged significantly, with Chopra making history while Chaudhary quietly exited the scene.
Jaspal Rana, known for his own comebacks during his athletic career, encourages Chaudhary to make another attempt, emphasizing that setbacks are a part of a sportsperson's journey. He is willing to offer support but awaits Chaudhary's initiative, as he doesn't wish to impose himself on the young shooter.
Rana acknowledges Chaudhary's exceptional talent and believes he has the potential to win an Olympic medal. Despite Chaudhary's recent struggles, Rana retains faith in the shooter's abilities.
In his most recent international outing, Chaudhary finished 30th in the 10m air pistol event at the ISSF World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, a stark contrast to his previous stellar performances.