One of India’s most celebrated rifle shooters, Gagan Narang is now targeting a spectacular comeback to the sport in a bid to make the cut for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The 36-year-old has been pretty much off the circuit since the 2018 ISSF World Shooting Championships in Changwon, South Korea and hasn’t participated in an ISSF World Cup since 2017.
Despite that, Narang does not put a fifth Olympic Games participation beyond his reach, as he has started training once again to try and mount a comeback come Tokyo 2020.
Speaking to the Olympic Channel, the veteran shooter revealed his aspirations to join the Tokyo 2020 team.
“I am working on my game. I have got my equipment redone and will shortly begin training. The scores have been up and down. I am not sure yet if I will make a cut for the Tokyo Games but in sport, you never give up. The phrase ‘giving up’ does not exist in my dictionary,” said Narang.
In 2011, Narang launched his first 'Guns for Glory' shooting academy in Pune along with fellow shooter Pawan Singh, with an eye on training the next generation of shooters for the country.
Training at one of his academy, the likes of Elavenil Valerian and Shreya Agarwal have managed to achieve a lot of success on the International front.
In spite of being actively involved with this academy work, Narang clarified that he wasn’t coaching any of those athletes and remains focused on his career as a player.
“Just to make it clear, I am still an active shooter and do not actively coach. It is a perception that I have moved into coaching because of the academy network. Guns for Glory has an excellent pool of coaches who we train and guide. I am a mentor in the system. If anyone wants suggestions, I am there but I do not have the time for active coaching currently,” explained the Indian shooter.
Road to Tokyo
India already has nine shooters who have booked their place at the Olympics next year.
The next opportunity for their shooters to take aim at Tokyo 2020 will be at the upcoming Asian Championships which start in Doha on November 3rd.