Gagan keen to set up academy in B'lore

Gagan keen to set up academy in B'lore

If everything goes to plan, Bangalore could well have a world class shooting academy run by Olympic medallist Gagan Narang in the near future.

Narang, who was in Bangalore on Tuesday, said he was keen to open a training centre in the city, and plans were afoot towards that goal. “Bangalore is a nice place and I have happy memories of this city. In fact, I competed in my first nationals here, back in 1999.

There is lot of talent here, and the likes of Prakash P N and Rakesh Manpat are doing very well,” said Narang, the bronze medallist in air rifle at the London Games.

“Bangalore is close to Hyderabad and there are lot of corporates and companies in the IT sector here. There is lot of interest in sport as well. It is known as the IT city now and it could well be known as the sports city,” said Narang. “Once we do the ground work for the academy, we would certainly need the support of the Bangaloreans to make it a success.”

The Commonwealth Games champion, who runs the Guns for Glory Academy in Pune, said he was eager to put his expertise to good use. “I would want to promote sport in a big way in our country and would like to make myself available to any city or government that would want to utilise my expertise to improve sport in their state. I would be more than happy to help them,” he said.

Narang said entry into sport promotion didn’t mean he would take a step back as a competitor. “As a responsible citizen, I should contribute some of my time to develop sport before I start preparing for the next Commonwealth Games. Of course I will be competing in the World Cup finals (in Bangkok next month) -- but that wouldn’t be a prime focus for me.

Next year, the main goal will be the Asian Airgun Championships and the World Cup finals will be like a stepping stone for the Asian Airgun meet which will be in China. The Chinese shooters are the best in the world and I am looking forward to competing with them. I would also want to become physically fitter and mentally tougher in the coming months.

Narang said he wasn’t worried about the rule changes that will be implemented from next year. Under the changes, the scores from the qualifying rounds won’t be carried forward to the final, which would use the same elimination format being used in rapid fire pistol now.

“I haven’t read them yet but it doesn’t make a difference to me because no matter what the rule says, I have to shoot and shoot well. I think I will be ready for it when it is implemented,” said Narang, who also revealed that he wasn’t concerned about the involvement of the crowd during the Olympic Games competition, unlike other shooters.

“I didn’t have any problems with the fans making noise because I am used to such conditions, having competed in Bundesliga (German league). It quite helped me to focus.”