Road to Rio: Gagan Narang eyes gold after clinching bronze in 2012 Olympics
Gagan Narang will be gearing up for his fourth appearance in the Olympics, hoping to secure a gold in the three disciplines that he'll be participating in.
Name: Gagan Narang
Discipline (sport): Shooting
Category: 10m Air Rifle, 50m Rifle Prone, 50m Rifle 3 Position
Qualification: Won the bronze medal in the ISSF World Cup in May 2015.
Strengths: Experience will be one of Narang's biggest strengths, with the ace shooter gearing up for his fourth appearance in the Olympic games. According to the man himself, the 10m Air Rifle is his strength.
Past Olympic performance:
— Bronze in 10m Air Rifle in the 2012 London Olympics
Past record (best performances):
— Bronze in 2012 London Olympics and 2010 world championship in 10m Air Rifle.
— Gold in 10m Air Rifle and 50m Rifle 3 positions in 2006 Commonwealth Games (Both individual and pair).
— Gold in 10m Air Rifle and 50m Rifle 3 positions in 2010 Commonwealth Games (Both individual and pair).
— Silver in 50m Rifle Prone and Bronze in 50m Rifle 3 Positions in 2014 Commonwealth Games.
— Silver in 2010 Asian Games in 10m Air Rifle; Bronze in 2006 Asian Games in 50m Rifle 3 positions.
At the age of 33, making his fourth appearance in the grandest sporting event of them all, Gagan Narang is easily one of the most travelled members of the 121-strong Indian contingent, if not the most distinguished.
With as many as eight gold medals along with a silver and a bronze across three editions of the Commonwealth Games aside from the Olympic bronze to brag of, Narang will be carrying the weight of expectations of a billion-plus people for securing a medal in the upcoming event. Unlike the 2012 London games, where all eyes were focused on Bindra, Narang will start off as one of the favourites in this event.
Narang's talent in the field was spotted at an early age by his parents when he used to shoot balloons at the famous Marina beach in his hometown of Chennai, with his father presenting him an air pistol at the age of 14.
A recipient of the Padma Shree as well as the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, Narang will be gunning for a medal across three different events — 10m Air Rifle, 50m Rifle Prone and 50m Rifle 3 positions — for the third consecutive time in the Olympics.
The ace shooter however, admitted that balancing the three disciplines will take some effort.
"Balancing three events will be a big task. The challenge is to peak in all three events during a particular period. I am planning my training in a way that I peak in all three events," Narang was quoted as saying according to a report on The Times of India.
While his form might have dipped since the 2012 event, with his best performance being the silver and bronze in the 2014 Commonwealth Games, he still figures as a leading contender across the disciplines.
The fact that this might be his last Olympic outing will further push him towards contributing towards the medal count for India.
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