Olympic-medallist Gagan Narang was considering quitting the sport after a disappointing show in Beijing four year ago.
Having won eight Commonwealth golds, the one medal missing from his cupboard was an Olympic one. The rifle-shooter, who failed to qualify for the final eight in Beijing, won bronze in the 10m Air Rifle event at the London Games recently.
The 29-year-old Hyderabadi was felicitated at his shooting academy ‘Gun for Glory’ at the Balewadi Sports Complex by Maharashtra Sports and Youth Welfare Minister Padmakar Valvi yesterday.
Excerpts from an interview:
How did you conquer the pressure of winning a medal in London?
Even five days before the Games, Beijing failure haunted me. The thoughts of Beijing would come to my mind every time, but I had to conquer my demons. Winning a medal was always there at the back of my mind. More than me, others had the confidence that I will win a medal in London. I wanted to win the medal for my parents. Today with the medal in my hand, the feeling of what I have achieved has sunk in. And a huge weight is off my shoulders.
You said that you were depressed for quite sometime after Beijing 2008. Did you think about quitting?
Yes. There were many thoughts that came to my mind. And one of them was if I should continue shooting or not. I thought of quitting the sport and I did question myself whether I had it in me. But it was the sheer dedication and motivation from my parents that kept me going and make a comeback.
Are your parents satisfied with your bronze?
After I won the bronze, I called up my mother. She was not very happy with my performance and felt that I should have gone for the gold. Though she is ok now, I hope to fulfill her wish in the future.
‘My parents sold their land to buy me a rifle’
Gagan Narang revealed that his London Olympics triumph would never have been possible without his parents‘ sacrifices. Gagan’s father BS Narang and mother Amarjit sold a piece of land to buy him a rifle years back. “My parents sold a piece of land in Hyderabad where we were to build our house, to buy me a rifle 15 years back. We stayed in a rented accommodation for more than a decade. And my academy ‘Gun for Glory’ is to ensure that no other parent has to do what my parents did.”