Narang simply celebrated his win with a wave of the hand before lifting his rifle in both hands. He later admitted to being relived at having lifted the heavy load of expectation off his shoulder. “This medal is a huge stone off my chest. If anyone says there’s no pressure at the Olympics, he’s got to be joking,” said the 29-year-old ace marksman.
Narang, who entered the final in third spot with a score of 598 in the qualifying, shot 103.1 in a gripping 10-shot finals for an aggregate of 701.1 for the bronze. The gold went to Romanian Alin George Moldoveanu (702.1) and Italian Niccolo Campriani bagged the silver (701.5).
“Whatever I came here to do, I have achieved. I have had a great journey, I have had my share of ups and downs but it has been very exciting. It still doesn’t feel like I have won an Olympics medal. This medal has evaded me and I have finally got it,” Narang added.
It was the third time in row that Indian shooters had won medals at the Olympics. Double trap shooter Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore won the silver in 2004, Abhinav Bindra gave India a historic gold in Beijing, and now Narang has bagged a bronze in London.
“I had to complete the set in the shooting. We had a gold, silver and I got the bronze,” said a smiling Narang, who is also slated to take part in the 50m rifle 3-position and 50m rifle prone events here later.
Dad wants more
Meanwhile, Narang’s elated father BS Narang said this victory will boost his morale to win more medals.
“Now, I will tell him to prepare for the next event, ‘aur jeetna hai abhi’ (there is more to win),” said the senior Narang, referring to the two more events his son will be participating in at the ongoing London Olympics — 50 metre rifle prone and 3 positions.
For the record
Abhinav Bindra is India’s first individual Olympics gold medallist. The Chandigarh shooter won the 10m Air Rifle event in 2008 Beijing Games.
Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore became the first Indian to win an individual silver (Double Trap at the 2004 Athens Olympics) post independence. Sprinter Norman Pritchard was India’s first medallist, winning two silver in 1900 Paris Games.
A Indian hockey team that won gold in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.
Pic courtesy/ Indian Hockey Olympians
India has won eight golds, one silver and two bronze in Olympics. They dominated the world by winning six golds in-a-row from 1928 to 1956. In 1960 Rome, India won a silver before reclaiming top spot in Tokyo. 1980 Moscow was the last time an Indian team won gold in Olympics.