Not surprised by Valarivan's gold show, says mentor Gagan Narang

Updated: Aug 30, 2019, 07:55 IST | Ashwin Ferro |

A few hours before that, Gagan Narang's ward, Elavenil Valarivan, 20 bagged a gold medal at the ISSF World Cup in Rio de Janeiro

Valarivan with Gagan Narang
Valarivan with Gagan Narang

It was double delight for India's ace marksman Gagan Narang yesterday. His Gagan Narang Sports Promotion Foundation (GNSPF) was awarded the Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar by President of India, Ram Nath Kovind during the Arjuna Awards ceremony in New Delhi. A few hours before that, Narang's ward, Elavenil Valarivan, 20 bagged a gold medal at the ISSF World Cup in Rio de Janeiro.

Interestingly, in an interview with mid-day on Wednesday, when Narang was asked about the work his foundation had done in creating champions like Valarivan, the London Olympics bronze medal-winning shooter said that he didn't want to talk much about Valarivan since he preferred her "gun to do the talking." Yesterday, Narang was a proud mentor.

"This [Sr World Cup gold] was coming. I'm not at all surprised by her Rio World Cup show. Ela was picked by GNSPF from her school in Gujarat as part of our talent identification module. She's an exceptional shooter with a good head on her shoulders and has excelled at the junior level, winning big medals. So, it was only a matter of time before she replicated the effort at the senior stage. If you saw the final yesterday, there were teenagers from other countries too.

The average age of a shooter is getting younger. It's time for Ela to shine. This is just the beginning. She has been able to manage a smooth transition because of Project Leap, the marquee programme of GNSPF with Olympic Gold Quest where we help a shooter go from the grassroot level to the elite stage at double quick time," explained Narang.

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