It was about making finals in our early days, current shooters are thinking of medals: Gagan Narang | Tokyo Olympics News
A little luck could play a role as well, according to the ace rifleman-turned-mentor, who has been there and done so, the most notable of which was his bronze medal at the London Olympics in 2012.
“In our time, in our early days, we first thought about reaching the final and then the next Games, but this team is thinking about winning medals. It is a strong team and I have high hopes that it will do well. Our shooters”, Narang told PTI during a chat.
“Most of them have gained a good deal of experience having participated and won at various levels, including the ISSF World Cups,” he added, noting the change in mindset of current shooters.
The multiple ISSF World Cup gold medalist emphasized focus, saying the reality is that the Olympics are the most difficult challenge in an athlete’s career and one has to face it.
Through video calls and regular messages, Narang gave training tips to his most successful protégé, Elavenil Valarivan, before his first appearance at the Olympics.
During the course of her long period of training and competition in Croatia with the Indian shooting team for the Tokyo Games, Narang tried to pass helpful advice on to the extremely talented 21-year-old who will participate alongside her. Apurvi Chandela in the women’s 10-meter air rifle event.
“Yes, we have contacted through video calls and I have been talking with Ela (as those who know her well call her) about the preparations and all other important aspects for the Games,” added the champion shooter.
The Olympics are scheduled to run from July 23 to August 8, and filming events will begin one day after the opening ceremony and will cover the first 10 days of the extravaganza, which will take place without spectators due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Returning to the challenges of competing in the largest sporting event in the world and the advice he has given Elavenil, Narang said: “Look, there is no doubt that the Olympics are very difficult. The difficulty is real, and my job it was to prepare her to face reality. ”
Regarded as one of the best rifle shooters in the country, Narang looks forward to how the next Games unfold for Indian shooters.
Asked specifically about Elavenil, he noted that the Ahmedabad shooter completed seven years of training with him on July 14.
Nothing would give him more joy than seeing her on the podium six days later, on the first day of competition at the Games.
It has been number one in the world in its pet event since December 2019, although there have not been many competitions since then, due to the pandemic.
Introduced to the sport at age 12, Elavenil won her first gold medal at age 13, before winning the nationals.
He then came under Narang’s wings and won gold medals at the ISSF Youth World Cups in Suhl and Sydney.
In 2019, he burst onto the senior shooting scene, winning gold at the ISSF World Cups in Putian and Rio de Janeiro. Since then, there has been no going back for this rifle shooter.
Narang, who is also hopeful that the Indian will finish on the podium in mixed events, said that a lot “will depend on how everything goes into place on a given day.”
In Tokyo, India will be represented by a record 15 shooters, all capable of winning a medal on the sport’s biggest stage after an exceptional run of form in recent years.
The country’s shooting team was left blank at the Rio Games in 2016, after winning four medals in the previous three Olympics.