The frustration of being ignored for the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna spurred India’s ace rifle marksman, Gagan Narang, to give a sterling performance at the quadrennial World Shooting Championships in Munich on Saturday.
The Hyderabad-based shooter, who has the world record in his name, shot down the 10m air rifle bronze to become the first Indian to qualify for the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Gagan shot 597 (100, 100, 100, 99, 99, 99) in the qualification round to make it to the final placed fifth. He was tied with three others on the same score.
In the finals, the champion, who has three gold and an equal number of bronze medals in the World Cups, held his nerves to shoot 102, which helped him to the bronze medal position in a strong field of 128 shooters.
“Abhinav Bindra had finished on the podium at the last World Championship in Zagreb in 2006. I am happy that another Indian has bagged a medal on the big stage,” Narang told indianshooting.com. “I had been struggling with my equipment in the last few months, but now it’s ok. I am ready for the Commonwealth Games.”
Beijing Olympic gold-medallist, Abhinav Bindra, shot 593 (99, 99, 100, 99, 98, 98) to finish 25th. Bindra had won gold in the last edition of the World Championships in 2006. The third Indian in the fray, Imran Hassan Khan, finished 49th with a score of 590. In the team event, the Indian trio of Gagan Narang, Abhinav Bindra and Imran Hassan Khan finished fourth with a combined score of 1780/1800. The gold was won by China with a score of 1787.