Arjun Babuta, 23, won the men’s 10m air rifle gold medal at the ISSF World Cup in Changwon, South Korea, on Monday. It was the first senior international medal for Arjun. Olympian rifle shooter Anjum Moudgil, who has watched his struggles over the years, said it was a “redemption” for the Punjab shooter after a “rollercoaster” ride.
Arjun defeated USA’s Lucas Kozeniesky 17-9 in the gold medal round. He shot 630. 5 in the qualifying round and then topped the ranking round with 261.1 to make the cut for the gold medal match. Lucas had won the 10m air rifle mixed event silver in Tokyo last year.
Arjun had won the gold medal at the 2016 Junior World Cup in Gabala, Azerbaijan but seemed to have lost way after that. “Arjun has been shooting well and working hard for the past seven-eight years now. He has shown immense strength and strong character in the past few years,” the shooter’s father, Neeraj Babuta said. “He missed the Olympic berth narrowly and it was heartbreaking for him. However, he stayed positive and started spending more hours at the range. Because of training hard, he injured his back and had to undergo treatment for months,” the father said.