Narang puzzle yet to be solved

Just outside the hall, national coach Sunny Thomas was in a scramble to solve a puzzle that might derail the in-form Indian shooter’s quest for an Asian Games gold.

Narang is the designated flag-bearer for India at the Games’ opening ceremony on Friday but with one of his events -- the 10M air rifle -- scheduled for the next day, the officials have been trying to find ways keep him in best shape for the contest.

“He is keen to don the role; it’s a great honour but we still haven’t been able to sort it out,” said Thomas. The fact that the opening ceremony is to be held at the Hai Qing Sha island on the Pearl river, in a shift from the normal way, has added to the problem and it is very much likely that another athlete could take Narang’s place. “We want him to come back quickly after the ceremony; we don’t know whether it will be allowed. If not, then we have to look for a replacement,” said Thomas as he hurried away to speak to the Indian Olympic Association officials.

Narang was one of the two Indians chosen for the torch relay through the city on Wednesday but he opted out and instead, Samresh Jung did the honours. Saina Nehwal, the other Indian chosen for the event, also did not make it.

Meanwhile, Indian Olympic Association Secretary-General Randhir Singh also agreed that it won’t be prudent to keep Narang away for a long time on Friday with his event scheduled for Saturday. “We are trying to sort it out,” said Randhir.

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