Narang sets eyes on gold for his mother

The Olympic bro­nze he scooped from shooting, the first for India in the London Games, was celebrated across the nation but Gagan Narang’s mother was disappointed it did not turn out to be a gold medal, said the shooter on his return to the country.

Olympic bronze medallist shooter Gagan Narang showing his medal as he is welcomed by his fans at Balewadi in Pune on Wednesday. PTI

“She wanted me to win the gold medal. I hope to fulfill her wish in the future,” said the star rifle shooter at a felicitation ceremony here after arriving from London to a rousing reception.

Narang was felicitated at the ‘Gun for Glory’ academy by Maharashtra Sports and Youth Welfare Minister Padmakar Valvi. Woman shooter Rahi Sarnobat, who was part of the London Games shooting squad, was also honoured.

Narang said he felt a bit anxious during his event in London and used his coach Stanislas Lapidus’s iPad to settle his jangled nerves. “I felt a tad bit nervous. Hence, I started half an hour late. My coach made me play a ‘secret’ game on his iPad. I stepped back from my mark, relaxed, and checked everything before shooting again.

“I was really pleased at having qualified for the finals. A huge weight off my shoulders. In the finals, I was lucky enough to hold my nerves and shoot 10.7 in the last shot when I needed 10.2 to win the bronze medal,” said the shooter.

Praising India’s performance in the ongoing Olympics, Narang said that there is no reason why the country can’t become a sporting powerhouse. “It is a gradual process. Sporting culture is needed where marks are given to students for sports in schools, jobs are assured for sportsperson and sponsors are willing to support them through rough times. We have picked momentum and are moving in the right direction.”

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