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Gagan draws from narrow miss

other Updated: Apr 14, 2009 00:11 IST
Ajai Masand
Ajai Masand
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Only medals and more medals can satiate Gagan Narang’s hunger, or so it seems. The ace rifle marksman — who created history on Sunday by becoming the first Indian to make it to the 50m rifle prone final in a World Cup, finally settling for a fourth place — told HT from Changwon (South Korea) that he was looking forward to giving a far improved performance at the forthcoming World Cups in Beijing, Munich and Milan.

The Hyderabadi who won his fourth World Cup medal - a bronze in 10m air rifle at the Changwon World Cup --- said: “A bronze and a fourth place is good for a start but things could have been better. I am now looking forward to improving at the Beijing, Munich and Milan World Cups.

“Shooting the prone finals showed that we are now shaping up well in the 50m events as well and we now have decent quality ammunition… we need to take things further from here.”

Narang was in contention for gold in the 50m event when he entered the finals tied first with Ole Bakken of Norway on 597. But a poor last shot of 9.6 in the finals saw him finishing out of the medals bracket.

“I had mixed feelings with my prone event. I was elated that I shot a 597, which was my personal best in a World Cup, but at the same time was disappointed that I missed the podium. But it’s always a learning experience when you miss narrowly,” Narang said.

On how much was he feeling the absence of long-time Hungarian coach Szucsak Laszlo, the marksman, who till date has two gold and two bronze in World Cups said, “Laszlo’s presence would definitely being missed. But I guess we have to learn to take uhp the additional responsibility until we find another coach. We have regular team meetings with national coach who always binds the rifle and pistol teams together… we feel more united looking out for each other and helping whenever we can.”