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Shoot ‘em up with the cam!

He’s got something for far-flung targets.Youth idol & ace shooter Gagan Narang to Rajesh Ahuja on life beyond the gold medal.

india Updated: Apr 22, 2009 21:00 IST
Rajesh Ahuja
Rajesh Ahuja
Hindustan Times

He’s got something for far-flung targets. When not busy eyeing them with his air rifle, the gold medalist shoots them with his beloved camera. “As much as I like unwinding over a hot cuppa, my passion for photography keeps me going,” says Hyderabad-based shooter Gagan Narang who recently did the country proud by fetching gold at the World Cup held in Changwon, Korea.

He, along with shooting stars Abhinav Bindra and Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, has pumped in enough hope for shooting enthusiasts to ensue. But the 26-year-old feels that these accolades alone can’t change the face of the sport in the country. “Many shooters have won medals at world championships in the recent past, but that hasn’t had the desired impact. My sport lacks marketing initiative,” he explains.

The young turk feels that for shooting to garner television viewership, a set format needs to be worked out. “The current format isn’t TV friendly. But I know for a fact that Abhinav Bindra’s Olympics final last year was watched by millions back home,” he says.

Narang says the IPL hungama did not take the shine off his moment of glory. “A win is a win and will always be. Though one cannot compare the two, IPL is still a domestic league and what I won is an international competition.” While endorsements do figure on the list, he’s “ready to go with anything that suits my image as a world-class shooter”.

The self-confessed social bee is missing his friends already. “I socialise in Hyderabad but that’s limited to old-time friends,” says the champ who also has a strong Delhi connect. “I spend a lot of time in Delhi because a part of my family hails from here. Also it is the nerve-centre of all my shooting activity. Once the range for the 2010 Games is ready, we’d shift base to the capital. I can’t wait to hit SideWok in Khan Market and Yellow Brick Road at Taj Ambassador. I love trying out new cuisines,” confesses the foodie.

The road ahead looks sunny. But ask him if the win has made him the most eligible bachelor around, and he coyly replies, “I’m not quite sure about the female fans... but as far as proposals are concerned, only time will tell!” Girls, that’s hint enough.

First Published: Apr 22, 2009 16:32 IST