first_imgThe sight of Gagan Narang kissing his golden gun is one of the iconic images of the 2010 Commonwealth Games.The Hyderabadi ace shot down four gold medals, then won two silver medals at the subsequent Asian Games and was finally honoured with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna last year.Narang’s journey to the London Olympics began on that fateful August 11 in 2008. As Abhinav Bindra stood on the top of the air rifle podium in Beijing, Narang, who missed out on the final by a point, vowed to match the exploits of his teammate and rival.Following the Olympics, Narang shot a new final world record of 703.5 in the World Cup Finals in Bangkok, including a perfect 600 out of 600 in qualification. This was only broken by Chinese legend Zhu Qinan late last year.Thereafter, medals just kept coming, culminating in a 10m air rifle bronze at the 2010 World Championships in Munich and the rich haul at the back-to-back extravaganzas in New Delhi and Guangzhou. He beat Bindra both times. In fact, had the CWG not been unrecognised by the International Shooting Sports Federation, Narang’s score of 703.6 would’ve been his second world record.Last year, a knee problem limited his participation to just one World Cup, where his performance wasn’t noteworthy. Since then, Narang has been on the comeback trail, but has kept himself among the two best Indian shooter in each of the three rifle events – 10m air rifle (his main event), 50m rifle 3 positions and 50m rifle prone.Narang has been shooting high scores in all the World Cups this year, but a highest position of ninth means he has been keeping some of his energy in reserve. If he manages to give his best in London, he can return with at least one gold medal.advertisementlast_img

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