Shooter Gagan Narang Revives National Hope With India’s First Top-Three Finish In London
Ten Meter Air Rifle specialist Gagan Narang shot his way into history, earning his country’s first top prize in London. The 29 year-old took advantage of a misfire from fellow countryman, and defending champion Abhinav Bindra. With the favorite out of the competition, Narang shot his way to glory with a total score of 701.1 on the day.
The Royal Artillery Barraks of London set the scene for a perfect comeback story. Narang missed the final round in Beijing, four years prior due to a countback. This year he had a series of 10.7, 9.7, 10.6, 10.7, 10.4, 10.6, 9.9, 9.5, 10.3 and 10, to put his country in the spotlight for the first time this summer. Romania’s Alin George Moldoveanu took the top prize with a total score of 702.1 (599 qualifying, 103.1 final) and Italian Niccolo Campriani placed second with 701.5 (599 qualifying, 102.5 final).
Narang sparked celebrations among the large Indian contention based in London, not to mention the utter jubilation back home in India. The headlines in the papers tell the whole story: “India goes gaga over Gagan," said The Times of India, while The Hindu newspaper wrote that the his performance had "infused life into the Indian challenge.”
With India in search of more top results from its athletes in London, Narang has prompted some hope amongst his countrymen and women.