The smile says that things are finally falling into place for Gagan Narang. The London Olympics bronze medallist was out of the team for a good part of the last four years following a neck injury.
Post high, the break and injury, meant Narang failed to shoot in his bread and butter event, the 10m air rifle, at both the Asian Games and the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
In the New Year, the 32-year-old has set big targets. The rifle ace wants to peak in all of the three disciplines he shoots – the air rifle, 50m prone and 3 positions.
“This year it is going to be unique challenge for me as I am hoping to be in form in all three. To be right there on top and on peak in all three disciplines is going to be something different. I don’t think this has been done before... but managing all will be the tricky part,” Narang told HT on Monday.
“Sometimes I have been doing good in one or two out of three but by Rio hopefully I would get it right. I am really enjoying the process — what to tweak, where to stop,” he said. He added the key was to get his act together in air rifle, which was neglected by him post London.
“Now I am focusing back on air rifle and there is a lot to do there. I shot well during the nationals both in prone and 3P. I did well in Bundesliga too as I won both my matches and helped my team to top the rankings. Even though I won’t be fighting for a medal here, it will be a good competition,” Narang, who has ordered a new 50m rifle and will be going to Switzerland to do the testing, said.
Narang for the first time acknowledged publicly about feeling the pressure and hurt when he was out of the 10m squad.
Talking about the criticism he faced he said: “Yes, air rifle is my bread and butter event and not being part of the team was little difficult to handle. But it was a blessing in disguise as I worked on prone. I really like and enjoy prone. Of course a lot is dependent on the ammunition, the conditions, which influence your result. But it has been a good experience in last two years and quite happy how prone in coming up.”