A year has gone by, rather uneventfully, for Gagan Narang, after his meritorious silver medal at the London Olympics. To think that he missed the gold by a whisker — just two shades adrift — would pain him, but the fact that he was amongst a handful of individuals to have ever returned with a medal for India from the Olympics should please him.
The season after hasn’t been as rewarding, as he was plagued by injuries and a rule change. A knee injury and new rule changes have forced Narang to start fresh to the new challenges. He took part in only two World Cups - at Munich (Germany) and Fort Benning (USA) and failed to qualify for the final on both occasions. However, in the USA World Cup, he finished 13th, narrowly missing the cut.
But Narang is still motivated, fine-tuning himself to fresher demands. “I am still making a lot of adjustments wherein the new rules and my new equipment are concerned. I will have to get into the groove. It will be important to get all my shooting apparatus right and get used to the new rule changes in the sport,’’ said Narang.
Narang is aware of the mounting responsibilities on his shoulders. “I have a lot of responsibility because with greater achievements come greater responsibilities. To explain in cricketing parlance, the team winning the World Cup 2011 could be equivalent to an Olympics win. The colour and flavour of all others are very different from Olympics in India.’’
For Narang, there is more that can be done to shooting in the country. “The country has huge potential. Talent identification and blooding them into the system is most important. We have to create a system, which offers you complete security so that the athletes’ talent could be harnessed to the maximum."
Narang is focusing on his Gun For Glory Academy at Pune, where they identify talented kids from the age of 12 and train them. “With the right kind of guidance the journey which took me 17 years will become shorter and easier for someone who wants to make the nation proud.’