Doesn't feel like I've won an Olympic medal, says Narang

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Gagan Narang
London, Jul 31: Gagan Narang, who won the bronze medal for India at London Olympics, feels a huge stone off his chest after he successfully achieved his goal by winning a medal at London having missed out on final qualifications in Athens and Beijing. [Gagan Narang on cloud 9, to become an IAS officer]

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"It is like a huge stone is off my chest. I had not managed to qualify for the finals in the last two Olympics and that was really painful. But now I am happy to have finally won an Olympic medal," Narang told reporters here.

"It still doesn't feel like I have won an Olympic medal. This medal has evaded me and I have finally got it," Narang said.

Having said that he never felt like he won an Olympic medal, the ace shooter also revealed that he was not happy with his score, he admitted that he committed a few errors which held him from aiming for a gold and had to be content with a bronze.

"I am not really happy. My coach is also not happy with the score. Scoring 600 is always challenging, but I made a few technical mistakes at certain points. But then an Olympic medal is an Olympic medal," he told reporters in London.

Gagan won the first medal for India in the 30th edition of Olympics at London, as he shot 103.1 in a gripping 10-shot finals for an aggregate of 701.1. He had scored 598 in the qualifying round, in which he also stood third at the Royal Artillery Barracks.

When reporters asked him how he coped with the pressure, Narang said, "Pressure was immense. I shot two nines today. I could have done better. But I am happy with my medal. It means a lot to a lot of people who have worked for this."

When asked if the celebrations back home would distract him, Narang said, he wasn't aware of the events happening back home.

"I don't know what is happening back home. I am trying to stay focused for my two other events."

"It (his effort) has been vindicated. In Beijing, I missed going to the finals due to a technicality. I think only a little credit goes out to me but my parents and sponsors have put in a lot of hard work which paid off," he added.

Narang, who missed the final round in Beijing Games on a countback, was in his elements. In the final round, he had a series of 10.7, 9.7, 10.6, 10.7, 10.4, 10.6, 9.9, 9.5, 10.3 and 10.7, helping him hold on to the third place among stiff competition.

A medal here also marks a hat trick of medals in the event, as India has won a medal third time in a row at Olympics as Double trap shooter Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore won the silver in 2004 and Bindra gave India a historic gold in Beijing.

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