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Narang on cloud 9

Written by: Staff
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Hyderabad, Apr 4 (UNI) Ace shooter Gagan Narang is on cloud nine after clinching an Olympic berth in the men's 10 meters Air Rifle event by winning the gold at ISSF World Cup shooting championship held at Guoangzhou in China recently.

He carried on the form exhibited at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games where he finished with four gold medals. ''Winning four gold medals at Commonwealth Games is nice, but, winning a gold medal with Olympic berth at World Cup in Guongzhou is more valuable,'' Narang said on his return here.

He would now be representing India in the World Cup at Resende, Brazil from April 25 to May 3. ''I will not concentrate on 10 meter Air Rifle Event so that two more Indians will have the advantage of excelling in it. Even if I participate it won't matter to me. I shouldn't deprive others chances,'' he added.

Commenting on his entry to Beijing Olympics, he said, ''It is nice feeling to be the first Indian to qualify for the Olympics two full years ahead. I had bet Chinese in their own den. This gave me immense confidence and I would prove myself in the coming months.

Previous time I had just couple of months time left for practice for Athens Olympics. This time I have plenty of time for practice and more events to gain exposure.'' Asked about his needs, he replied, ''Our ranges are almost on par with other international shooting ranges. Only thing we need is electronic targets. To maintain top form one need to perform at that level and we badly need electronic targets. In foreign countries it is quite common to have all the facilities, including electronic targets, but in India it is quite different.'' he said.

Earlier, Andhra Pradesh Sports Minister M Satyanarayana Rao felicitated Gagan Narang at his official residence.

He said, ''I congratulate him for winning four commonwealth golds and one world cup gold medal. But more than that I greet him on the occasion of winning the Olympic berth.'' The minister promised all help from the state governament for the ace shooter.

UNI XR/JRK DH HT1742

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