Bangalore’s Prakash Nanjappa, who emerged as India’s latest shooting success with a bronze medal in the pistol event at the ISSF World Cup in Changwon, South Korea, on Saturday, was constantly coached through text messages from India, his father has revealed.
P.N. Papanna, a qualified coach and a former shooter himself, used a popular mobile messaging application to stay in regular touch with his son through the 10-m air pistol event.
“The connection there was an issue, so we were communicating through ‘Whatsapp’,” he said here on Sunday. “He came online immediately after the qualifying round. I was able to guide him and help him before the finals,” he said.
The 37-year-old Prakash Nanjappa also made to the final round of the 50-m pistol event earlier in the week, where he finished eighth. “He had pain in his wrist, but he didn’t tell me about it,” Mr. Papanna said. “It is unfortunate that he carried on despite the pain; I could’ve tried to suggest some remedy. I was hoping he’d win a medal in that event too,” he added.
Mr. Papanna said that he was thrilled with his son’s exploits, nonetheless.
“I’m absolutely excited. Prakash Nanjappa is a confident man; I knew he’d return with a medal. But he’s not the sort to let success go to his head. His focus will be on the next event,” he said.
This Bangalorean, who started out young in the field of sports, has won numerous accolades in different sports. He began with shuttle badminton and rallying, and took up rifle shooting after his father.
“I do not exactly remember how his tryst with shooting began, but it was something where he challenged me to a match of rifle shooting,” said Papanna, also a retired Deputy Commissioner of the State Excise Department.
“When he went to Canada for work, he was occupied with work with no time for shooting. And I stopped asking him about how his shooting practice was progressing. And I won a couple of State medals around that time and sent him a mail about my success. That inspired him once again,” says Mr. Papanna. It is then that Prakash Nanjappa took up shooting once again and made a place for himself in the sport in a foreign land.
Despite scoring 9.4 and 9.3, Prakash Nanjappa was eliminated from the race for the gold by 0.3 point, behind Chinese Wang Zhiwei.
Prakash Nanjappa will return to India on April 10.