Games & medals
Rio de Janeiro 2016
|#23||Shooting||Air Rifle, 10 metres|
|#33||Shooting||Small-Bore Rifle, Three Positions, 50 metres|
|#13||Shooting||Small-Bore Rifle, Prone, 50 metres|
|#3||Shooting||Air Rifle, 10 metres|
|#18||Shooting||Small-Bore Rifle, Prone, 50 metres|
|#20||Shooting||Small-Bore Rifle, Three Positions, 50 metres|
|#9||Shooting||Air Rifle, 10 metres|
|#35||Shooting||Small-Bore Rifle, Prone, 50 metres|
|#13||Shooting||Small-Bore Rifle, Three Positions, 50 metres|
|#=12||Shooting||Air Rifle, 10 metres|
Gagan NARANG biography
As a two-year-old, Gagan Narang aimed a toy gun at balloons in a shooting stall in Chennai’s Marina Beach. Twenty-seven years later, he was staring down the crosshairs at the historic Royal Artillery Barracks in London, shooting for a medal at the 2012 Olympics.
He clinched bronze in the 10m Air Rifle event that day and with it, India’s first medal of that edition of the Games.
A four-time Olympian with multiple World Cup titles, the Chennai born shooter has done much to make India proud on the global stage.
Be it his exploits with the rifle or through his famed ‘Gun for Glory’ academy which nurtured several prodigies such as Elavenil Valarivan, Indian shooter Gagan Narang has played a key role in raising the standard of the sport in his country over the years.
Drawn to the sport after his dad gifted him an air pistol when he was in his early teens, Gagan Narang would make his mark early with a string of fine performances in domestic shooting championships.
It wasn’t long before he managed to earn a place in the Indian team for the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece. However, Gagan Narang’s Olympic debut did not go as per plan as he fell short of making the final in the 10m Air Rifle event. Not letting it affect him adversely, the Indian shooter would soon get back in his groove.
His breakthrough at the international circuit came in 2006, when he won his maiden ISSF World Cup medal, a gold in the 10m Air Rifle, in Guangzhou. He then bagged four gold medals at the Commonwealth Games that year, a feat he would repeat in the 2010 edition in New Delhi as well. At the 2006 Asian Games, Gagan Narang racked up an individual bronze and two team medals, both bronzes.
Building up to the 2008 Olympics, Gagan Narang was in top form and looked for a podium finish. But on the big stage in Beijing, he missed out on the final of the 10m Air Rifle event only on countback while Abhinav Bindra went on to become the first Indian to become an individual Olympic gold medallist.
Not among the ones to let the hurt affect the mindset, Gagan Narang restarted firing on all cylinders within months, nailing down a perfect score in the German Shooting League.
Narang went on to win gold in the 10m Air Rifle category at the 2008 ISSF World Cup Final, this after shooting a world record score.
At London 2012, all eyes were firmly fixed on the defending champion Abhinav Bindra, allowing Narang to flourish in the shadows.
With barely had any slip-ups, Narang made it to the 8-men final after finishing third in the qualification for the 10m Air Rifle event.
The final too was no different, as the Indian shooter built on his performance to go deep in the competition and eke past China's Wang Tao to assure himself of a bronze medal.
In fact, Gagan Narang came mighty close to the eventual silver medallist Niccolo Campriani of Italy who scored 701.5, compared to the Indian's 701.1. Alin George Moldoveanu would take gold on the day with a score of 702.1.
“There was a lot of pressure from expectations. I would not say pressure is bad; in my case, it helped me perform,” he would tell the Olympic Channel. “At every stage, I recalibrated my skills.”
He bagged a silver and bronze at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games but the following years saw the Indian shooter gradually tail off.
He eventually hung his rifle post the Rio Olympics in 2016, but continues to give back to the sport that made him the person he is today.
His Gun for Glory academy was a move in this direction. Spread across the country, it provides top-notch facilities, shooting ranges, equipment and training for the nation’s next generation of shooters.