Shooting's ouster from CWG is not the end of the world, says Gagan Narang
In the last eight years, Narang has set up 16 training centres across the country as part of the Gagan Narang Sports Promotion Foundation (GNSPF) to teach and promote shooting to young aspirants
India's 2012 London Olympics bronze medal-winning shooter Gagan Narang is known to be a man of few words but hits the bullseye with his opinion as often as he does with his rifle.
There has been an uproar in the Indian sporting fraternity recently after the Birmingham Commonwealth Games Organising Committee announced that shooting would be dropped from the 2022 edition in England.
The sport's governing body in India, the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) was upset as was the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), who even suggested India boycott the CWG to protest shooting's axing.
It's time for closure
However, Narang believes that the sport's ouster from the CWG is not the end of the world. "Too much water has flown under the bridge now. It's time to put an end to this issue. I think they [2022 CWG OC] have dropped shooting from this CWG for a reason. The NRAI through the ISSF [International Shooting Sport Federation] and IOA have been taking this issue head-on with the CWG OC and let's hope good sense prevails. But if not, it does not mean it's the end of the world for our sport. Shooters have several other targets to fulfill. Of course, it's one less medal in the cabinet for many, but shooters must also be practical and focus on giving their best at other competitions," Narang told mid-day from his training base in Chennai recently.
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Interestingly, the three-time ISSF World Cup gold medal-winner is busy giving back to the sport that has given him so much. In the last eight years, Narang has set up 16 training centres across the country as part of the Gagan Narang Sports Promotion Foundation (GNSPF) to teach and promote shooting to young aspirants.
India's Olympic bronze-winner Gagan Narang during practice
And his efforts will bear fruit on Thursday (August 29) when President of India, Ram Nath Kovind will present Narang the Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar at the Arjuna Awards ceremony in the capital on the occasion of National Sports Day.
"The award comes as a vindication of our efforts to make the sport of shooting accessible besides providing an environment of excellence at the grassroots. My team and co-founder Pawan Singh have worked hard and the result is 160-plus international medals. We have a definite target going towards Olympics 2024 and 2028. This award is an impetus, a massive encouragement to GNSPF," added Narang.
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