Sharp shooter

GA­GAN NARANG, 28, Shooter


Cur­rently ranked World Num­ber 3 in the 10m Air Ri­fle cat­e­gory, Ga­gan Narang is no stranger to records. “Last year was a bumper year for me,” he says as he was con­ferred the coun­try's high­est sport­ing hon­our — ra­jiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award. Narang whose mother comes from a vil­lage in Phag­wara came into his own in 2010, with his six-medal haul at the Com­mon­wealth Games fol­lowed by a dou­ble sil­ver at the Asian Games in Guangzhou. Last year, he shot into the lime­light by be­com­ing the first In­dian to qual­ify for the 2012 Olympics, with a bronze in the World Cham­pi­onships.

SMALL START For Narang, shoot­ing started as a recre­ational sport and as a child, he en­joyed shoot­ing bal­loons at fairs. It was only when he was 14 and his par­ents in­tro­duced him to a pis­tol en­cour­ag­ing him to take it up as a sport, that Narang took it se­ri­ously.

DIF­FER­ENT DI­REC­TION He launched his shoot­ing academy Gun for Glory in Jan­uary 2011, at the Shri Shiv Ch­ha­tra­p­ati Sports Com­plex, Pune. “The idea ger­mi­nated when a fel­low pas­sen­ger at Delhi air­port asked me for a good train­ing cen­tre for shoot­ers.” Aim­ing to bring home the gold from the Olympics, Narang is cur­rently busy prac­tic­ing for 2012, “It isn’t easy be­cause there is no tem­plate,” he says. “My fo­cus comes from the drive to win. It comes from the high of see­ing the tri­colour go up.”

Con­tact: www.face­!/ga­gan.ogq

“I didn’t have shoot­ing fa­cil­i­ties at col­lege and went to camps to prac­tice. Through my academy, I’ll be able to train tal­ented shoot­ers, and sup­port them.”

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