Gagan Narang: A world champ in the makingOctober 9th, 2010 - 8:30 pm ICT by IANS
By Abhishek Roy
New Delhi, Oct 9 (IANS) Gagan Narang had taken to shooting as a pastime, not in pursuit of excellence. Now, after winning four golds at the Commonwealth Games and with at least two more expected, he is well on his way to be the world’s best.
With four gold medals, all with Games records, and two events to go, the genial 27-year-old Hyderabadi, who is an MBA graduate, is the new shooting sensation.
The handsome Air-India executive’s successful journey to a world of fame can largely be attributed to his strong mental make-up which helps him keep his cool and high levels of concentration whenever the going gets tough, say those who know him well.
The eligible bachelor from Begumpet in Hyderabad is not a revelation here at the Games - although he hit the headlines here - he had been around for quite some years.
He has been there and there about at the top, his guns blazing and he was as well known in shooting circles as Abhinav Bindra, the country’s lone individual Olympic gold medallist. A gold at the World Cup finals (2008), two World Cup golds (2009, 2006), three World Cup bronze (2008, 09, 10), and bronze in the World Championship (2010), are a testimony to his immense talent and determination to excel.
In fact, more than the medals and the records, it was Narang’s victory over Bindra in the 10m air rifle event, where he equalled his own world record, that stands out. Unfortunately, his record will not be ratified as Commonwealth Games are not part of the elite sporting events whose records are recognised.
Call it destiny or what you will, the MBA graduate failed to come good where it mattered. He missed the qualification mark by a whisker at the Beijing Olympics, where he was favourite. Bindra made the final and the rest is history.
Narang had another heartbreak when he was not chosen for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna for the third successive year and the distraught shooter nearly pulled out of the Commonwealth Games in disgust. But the fighter in Narang persuaded him to let his guns talk and how well they roared at the ranges.
“I don’t talk about my inner feelings and my satisfaction. I have, and will always let my gun do the talking,” he said.
And in the Games, Narang is a strong contender for finishing as the best athlete and win the coveted David Dixon award.
Narang, who is currently ranked World No. 3, is expected to win gold in both the remaining categories. And once he wins the award, it would be the second straight time that an Indian shooter will bag it.
In Melbourne four years ago, pistol shooter Samresh Jung won the award, introduced in 2002, by winning five gold to earn the nick name Goldfinger.
Right from the day one of the shooting competition at the Karni Singh Shooting Range, Narang looked determined to come out of the shadow of Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra.
Though he is yet to win a World Championship gold or an Olympic medal, Bindra firmly feels that Narang has it in him to get them all.
“He is outstanding, one of the best in the world. I am sure he will win many more international tournaments, the World Championship and an Olympic gold medal,” said Bindra.
Gagan, a double world record holder, remains modest and says that he still has a lot to learn from Bindra.
- Narang emerges out of Bindra's shadow (Profile) - Jul 30, 2012
- Olympics: India hope to get lion's share from the ranges (Preview) - Jul 27, 2012
- Olympics: Shooter Gagan Narang opens medal count with bronze (Second Lead) - Jul 30, 2012
- Khel Ratna has brought added pressure: Narang - Jul 26, 2011
- After hockey, shooting is India's most successful Olympic sport - Jul 30, 2012
- London Olympics can see a record number of Indian shooters - Jun 12, 2011
- Andhra governor congratulates Gagan Narang - Jul 30, 2012
- Olympics: India on a medal count - Jul 27, 2012
- Indian athletes' London tryst amid soaring expectations - Jul 26, 2012
- Needed a little luck: Bindra (Second Lead) - Jul 30, 2012
- I am sure Gagan will do well: Bindra (Lead) - Jul 30, 2012
- Olympic shooting: Narang to take stance amid high expectations - Aug 02, 2012
- CWG shooting: Narang rues missing his perfect 600 score - Oct 05, 2010
- Indian shooters aim to cross Melbourne medal tally - Sep 12, 2010
- I achieved what I came here to do: Narang - Jul 30, 2012
Tags: 10m air rifle, abhinav bindra, abhishek, air india, begumpet, beijing olympics, commonwealth games, eligible bachelor, gold medallist, gold medals, hyderabadi, immense talent, khel ratna, mba graduate, pursuit of excellence, rajiv gandhi, rest is history, whisker, world champ, world cup finals