Tracing his first shot in shooting at the age of 12 and his school days in Geetanjali, Mamata Schools, a beaming Gagan reminded that Hyderabad always remains very close to his heart.
Ace shooter Gagan Narang was in for two pleasant surprises. For the first time in his successful career, this Hyderabadi, winner of the 2012 London Olympics bronze medallist in 10 m air rifle event, was given a touching reception on his arrival back home after his magnificent feat in London. Then, when he was clearly told by the State government that the latter was open to utilise Gagan’s services in giving shooting a new fillip in the State.
Sadly, the State government is yet to announce a house site for Gagan despite his string of gold at the international level over 15 years now.
Tracing his first shot in shooting at the age of 12 and his school days in Geetanjali, Mamata Schools, a beaming Gagan reminded that Hyderabad always remainsvery close to his heart. “I have had lots of people show abundance of love and I must acknowledge now what all they have done to make me what I am,” were his first comments on Monday.
With once again Andhra Pradesh Sports School students lining up at the airport along with the SAAP trainees in different disciplines waving the mini tri-colour flags, a smiling Gagan exchanged pleasantries at a brisk pace to step into the colourfully decorated open-top bus at the Airport. For a stretch up to the PVNR Expressway, he was on it, acknowledging the greetings of many students including those from Lal Bahadur Memorial School who dotted the route, braving the heat.
The triple Olympian gently reminded that as a young boy when he used to go his dad’s (B. S. Narang) Air India office, then he was talked about as Narang Saab’s son. “Now, I think even my dad can take pride when they introduce him as Gagan’s father,” he remarked with a big smile and a sense of pride.
Gagan said he was open to replicate what he had done in Pune (where he set up the ‘Gun For Glory’ shooting Academy thanks to the initiative of Maharashtra Government). “Everyone knows that the shooting ranges here (Central University) were not upgraded. I sincerely believe with my expertise I can bring in a radical change in the sport,” he said.
Dr. T. R. K. Rao, SAAP VC & MD, was quick to remind they were awaiting clear-cut proposals from the champion shooter and that the Government would go extra yard to help him.
The star shooter was a bit emotional when he revealed that his parents had to sell off their house sites to see him (Gagan) become a big name in shooting. “It is a very expensive sport and I don’t want any parent to suffer a similar fate,” he insisted.
Given this backdrop, Gagan is keeping his fingers crossed as to how things shape up if he were to realise his dream of producing many more Gagans from the State and Hyderabad in particular.