Hitting the peak at right time and right situation matters most for any athletes.
India got to hear their first big roar from London Olympics today. The ace shooter Gagan Narang wins bronze medal in 10m air rifle shooting event. Gagan hit a total score of 701.1 in his pursuit of bronze medal and lost silver medal in just 0.4 points difference. This is India’s first medal at London Olympics and may this will be the beginning of many to come.
The importance of this medal goes far beyond than just medal count. Because with the failures in one after another event by our Indian athletes in London Olympics, the frustrations and disappointments started to grow bigger on both fans and athletes themselves due to the expectations. Now the mood will be very high on Indian camp. A new confidence will develop and motivation comes with this beginning for all. Also , this is third time in a row shooters bagged medal for India at Olympics. A feat that they would like to keep stretching and add many more medals.
It is also much needed medal for Gagan himself. He is long billed as India’s best shooter as he poured medals in commonwealth games for India. Gagan won four gold medals in both 2006 Melbourne and 2010 Delhi commonwealth games . But somehow he kept failing in big stages like Olympics, Asian games and world champions. This medal will make him more confident and silence all his critics. Gagan still have two more chances to win medals in 50m rifle prone and 50m rifle 3 positions events. If Gagan continues this form, then it is off no doubt that India’s medal tally will increase.
Earlier when the 10m air rifle event started, India’s golden boy and defending champion Abhinav Bindra failed to reach the finals. Bindra only managed to score 594/600 points in contrast to Gagan, who scored 598/600 and finished fourth in the qualification list. India was heart broke when Bindra failed but the hopes than fully shifted on Gagan to get a medal. Gagan showed great promise in qualification round itself. He hit 53 inner 10s in total and in fact from his first shot, he hit more than 25 consecutive inner 10s on a row.
Gagan faced tough opposition in finals from the likes of world no.1 Italian Campriani Niccolo and Romanian George. Gagan just like qualifier, began the finals in great note with a superb 10.7 hit. In first five shots, Gagan scored 52.1 and reached no.2 spot, raising hopes for silver medals. But Gagan slipped a little with 9.9 and 9.5 hits in his 6th and 7th shot respectively. When the old bad say of “so near yet so far” looked to make a come back, Gagan regained his focus and calmness to shot a brilliant 10.7 hit in the final shot which sealed him the medal.
A bronze might not what India expected in 10m air rifle but it was well earned after a great battle by Gagan. Cherish the reward with intensity of battle on the mind.
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