Narang looks for positives in loss at Beijing (Shooting lead)

August 17th, 2008 - 5:24 pm ICT by IANS  

By V. Krishnaswamy
Beijing, Aug 17 (IANS) Shooter Gagan Narang came up with his career best performance but still failed to make the final in the Olympic 50 m rifle 3 position here Sunday. The 25-year-old Narang was at one time in contention for a berth in the eight-man final, but his ‘Achilles’ heel, the Kneeling segment , spoiled his chances. The Indian shot a 384 in Kneeling despite a perfect 100 in the third series, while he had 394 in Prone and 389 in Standing

The other Indian challenger Sanjeev Rajput ended 26th with 1162 as curtains came down on the shooting competition.

“I have never shot a 100 in Kneeling and my coach wanted a 100 for me. I got that, so I look at that as a positive from here. I can always say if I was a little better in Prone, Kneeling or Standing, I could have got into the final. I tried, but it didn’t happen,” said Narang, who had four gold medals at the 2006 Commonwealth Games

Narang finished 13th in a field of 49 shooters with a total of 1167, three points behind the eighth place Mario Knoegler of Austria who shot 1170.

“Both Sanjeev (Rajput) and I need to be pushed by a bigger pool of shooters for all performances to keep improving. And we need to prepare for the future right from here and not wait for 2010 or 2011 or 2012 Games,” Narang said.

The event was won by China’s Qiu Ninan who totalled 1272.5 (1173 plus 99.5), while Ukraine’s Jury Sukhorukov shot 1272.4 (1174 plus 98.4) for the silver and the bronze went to Slovakia’s Rajmond Debevec 1271.7 (1176 plus 95.7).

Matthew Emmons, who had shot a miserable final shot to lose the gold in Athens, did it again this time. Leading into the final, when even a seven would have won him the gold, he fired prematurely and ended with a 4.4 to slip out of the medal race into the fourth place.

Narang’s scores in the qualifying round were 98, 99, 98, 99 in prone, 98, 99, 96, 96 in standing and 94, 93, 97, 100 in kneeling.

Narang who qualified for the Olympics from this event, started poorly missing six targets in the prone position to be 31st after the category.

But Narang came back strongly after doing well in the Standing event which took him to the fourth position, but in the end fell short.

Gagan admitted: “What I have learnt here is that I will not leave everything to luck. Yes I wanted to win the medal here, but Olympics are not the end of the road for me. Olympic has an aura and it sets your pulse racing and that is why I wanted to be in the finals this time, but that was not to be and you have to live with this fact.”

He added: “Today physically I was unstable, I lost lot of 9’s because of lack of proper balance and by the time I realised it was already very late.”

“It has been a disappointing Olympic Games, but I am talking positives from them. I have been around only for five years and that’s not a lot of time. So I just need to keep myself motivated and go on.,” he concluded.

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