London 2012 proved to be third time lucky for Rifle ace Gagan Narang. After two unsuccessful attempts in Athens and Beijing, Gagan Narang clinched the bronze medal in the men’s 10-metre air rifle event of the 2012 London Olympics. In the final round, Narang had a series of 10.7, 9.7, 10.6, 10.7, 10.4, 10.6, 9.9, 9.5, 10.3 and 10.7 to give India its first medal from the London Games. Here are a few facts about the rifle ace who helped India win its first medal at the London Olympics 2012:
Born on May 6, 1983, Narang was first encouraged by his father who gifted him an air pistol. He started the sport in 1997 and perfected his skills in the backyard of his home in Hyderabad. Narang held his first gun when he was six-years old to shoot down balloons at a carnival in Chennai’s Marina Beach.Since missing out on the final by a point in the Beijing Games fours summers ago, Narang has gone on to win numerous medals in the ISSF World Cups, World Championship, Commonwealth Games and the Asiad, besides creating a new world record in 2008.Rifle shooter Gagan Narang, who won four golds in the Commonwealth Games, got the much cherished Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 2011.
After setting his 10-meter air rifle world record in 2008, Narang said he was inspired by then U.S. Senator Barack Obama, who won US Presidential elections on that same day.Narang has his own shooting academy, Gun for Glory, in Pune, which he opened to help train talented shooters in India. In a interview, Narang had said in his intitial days he had seen a lot of struggle and through this academy he would help train talented shooters and support them in the future. Narang’s first bronze medal in the 50m rifle 3X40 event at the 2006 Doha Asain Games was India’s first individual medal in Asian Games rifle shooting.
“When kids my age were picking up toy cars, I used to buy toy guns,” Narang said after winning a gold medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
Narang had given enough indications of his class in a pre-Olympics event in Germany’s Hannover by scoring 704.3 – that was higher than the world record of 703.1 set by Thomas Farnik of Austria in the 2006 World Cup.