Gagan Narang on Wednesday put down the prospects of a fifth Olympic appearance to a ‘miracle’, one that he is relentlessly “working towards” by training on and off the range.
For one of India’s finest practitioners of the rifle shooting, securing a fifth Olympic berth is not beyond the bounds of possibility, but the 36 years old was modestly personified when discussions turned to the 2022 Tokyo Games.
Gagan Narang was the bronze-medalist in shooting at 2012 London Olympics. He commented to PTI, “I have stated training, Tokyo will happen or not, only the upcoming competitions will tell me.”
He added, “Next month we have the selection trials and if a miracle happens I will get selected for the Asian Championships. From thereon we will take a different route altogether. I am working for a miracle.”
To promote and advocate for shooting, Gagan Narang has established many training centers called Gagan Narang Promotion Foundation across the country.
Today, President Ram Nath Kovind will reward for him Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar for his contribution.
The shooter said mentoring aspiring shooters doesn’t come in the way of his personal goal, rather the whole process helps him.
In his words, “I don’t think that affects my personal shooting. Take for example the case of Ela (Elavenil Valavarian, one of his trainees) or Shreya (Agarwal), sometimes they shoot 28 and tell me that ‘sir I have shot 28’. Then my challenge is to shoot 29. So it kind of keeps you focused. I can’t be more happy when kids from the academy shoot better than me. Each day is a learning curve.”
As talks turned to the Indian Olympic Associations (IOA) proposal to boycott the 2022 Commonwealth Games for excluding shooting from the roster, Narang said it would be ‘unfair’ on other disciplines.
But he is glad that the sports ministry, the National Rifle Association of India( NRAI) and the International Shooting Sport Federation(ISFF) are working towards getting the ‘optional sport’ back in the program.