Gagan Narang comes across as a sentimental man. But the ace shooter knows how to channelise the sentiments to his advantage, especially in the form of medals.
Though dejected at being overlooked again for the Khel Ratna, Gagan believes he will "compel" people to realise his worth. "I will let my gun do the talking at the Delhi (Commonwealth) Games, and I know that one day everybody will realise my potential as a shooter," Gagan told HT.
"At this stage, it doesn't matter, if I did or didn't get the award. I have put aside such memories aside and I am going to train for the Games. I have a lot of expectations and am working hard towards fulfilling them. I have a good track record and I will try and win as many medals as I can," said Gagan, who bagged four gold at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
Gagan, who won a bronze and an Olympic quota in Munich last month, confessed that his supporters — family, coaches and the federation — were firmly behind him.
"Everyone told me to shoot to prove a point after I was dejected. Now, I want to win medals and glory for India. This will be bigger than any award," he said.
Shifting focus to the London Olympics, Gagan said, "Winning a medal at the 2012 Games won't be easy, but my preparations are on track."
Reminiscing how the family sold its only plot to purchase a rifle for him, the marksman remarked, "The incident is an inspiration to work hard. I spend 11-12 hours a day at the camp," adding, "I am thankful to the NRAI, which is doing its best for the shooters."
While appreciating the support of sponsors like Sahara, Gagan spoke of the luck factor in a sportsman's career.
"Yes, I do believe in luck. I missed the last Olympics (at Beijing) by a whisker, but this time I was lucky as the same margin of 0.1, got me a berth for the 2012 Games," he said.