Even the most seasoned of warriors can feel the nerves. And Gagan Narang, winner of bronze in 10m air rifle at London, revealed he felt a bit of anxiety during the event.
And, to calm the nervous energy, he used his coach Stanislav Lapidus's iPad.
"I felt a tad nervous. That's why I started half an hour late. My coach made me play a 'secret' game on his iPad. I stepped back from my mark, relaxed, and checked everything before shooting again," said Narang, at a ceremony held to felicitate him on his return from London here on Wednesday.
As reported by HT on the day he won the bronze, Narang's 'secret game' was a Reaction-Time game to enhance reflexes, which slow down due to anxiety.
Burden off shoulder
The shooter said he felt relieved after putting up a good show in the finals. "I was really pleased at having qualified for the finals. A huge weight was off my shoulders. In the finals, I was lucky enough to hold my nerves and shoot a 10.7 in my last shot when I needed 10.2 to win the bronze," said Narang.
However, the bronze wasn't enough to delight Narang's mother. "She wanted me to win gold. I hope to fulfill her wish in the future," said Narang.
India at it's best
Narang hoped India's best performance at the Games will spur the country towards sporting stardom. "We have picked momentum and are moving in the right direction. It began with RVS Rathore's silver in Athens, Abhinav Bindra's gold and two bronze in Beijing and four medals here. It is an encouraging sign."
Narang also urged schools to make sports a part of their curriculum, something he believes, will help children develop that aspect of their personality. "Sport is an important part of the development of kids and, hence, it should be made a part of their curriculum."
Apart from initiatives on part of the schools, Narang also said that the participation of state governments is equally important.