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Monday, July 30, 2012

Gagan Narang wins India’s first medal at 2012 Olympics



Gagan Narang won the bronze medal for India in the 10-m air rifle event at the London Olympics 2012 with Romania's Alin George Moldoveanu winning gold and Italy's Niccolo Campriani winning silver
Ace marksman Gagan Narang on Monday opened India’s account in the London Olympic Games by clinching the bronze medal in the men’s 10m air rifle event here.
Narang shot 103.1 in a gripping ten-shot finals for an aggregate of 701.1 after scoring 598 in the qualifying round in which also he stood third.
The gold was won by Romania’s Moldoveanu Alin George who tallied 702.1, that included 103.1 in the final, to upset world number 1 Niccolo Campriani of Italy who stood second with 701.5 at the Royal Artillery Barracks.
After a good start when he shot 10.7, Narang was off target with his second shot that fetched him 9.7. But he gathered his wits and steadied his aim to collect 10.6 10.7 10.4 and 10.6 in the following four shots to at one stage remain on course for bagging even a silver.
However, he slipped a bit and had to fight for the bronze medal with China’s Wang Tao who finished fourth with 700.4.
After returning poor scores of 9.9 and 9.5 in the seventh and eighth attempts, Narang pulled up his socks to seal the bronze with impressive scores of 10.3 and 10.7.
Narang’s compatriot and defending champion Abhinav Bindra had, however, suffered a shocking exit with his dismal show in the preliminaries in which he stood 16th out of 47 contestants with a score of 594 out of 600.
Narang’s bronze medal is only the third in shooting on the planet’s biggest sporting event after Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore’s silver in double trap in Athens 2004 and Bindra’s gold in the last Games at Beijing.
This was also India’s eighth individual medal in the Olympic Games.
With Alin George and Campriani able to maintain their grip on the top two positions, the competition for the bronze medal had boiled down to a tense contest between the Indian and his Chinese rival over the last few shots in which Narang prevailed.
There was stage when Campriani’s poor efforts of 9.9 and 9.4 in the eighth and the penultimate series gave Narang a whiff of chance of winning the silver, but the Italian fired a 10.4 in his last shot to dash the Indian’s hope of finishing second.
Earlier, Narang had kept alive India’s hopes by advancing to the medal round after Bindra crashed out.
Bindra, who scripted history four years ago by becoming the country’s first—ever individual gold medallist in the Olympics, shot 594 out of 600 to finish a shocking 16th out of 47 competitors and lost the golden chance of becoming the world’s first shooter to win two successive gold medals at the mega event.
However, Narang kept India in the hunt by finishing third with 598, a point behind Campriani and Alin George who both shot an Olympic record—equalling 599 to stand first and second in the qualifying round.
President congratulates Narang
President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday congratulated shooter Gagan Narang for winning a bronze medal in the 10m Air Rifle event of the London Olympics.
Narang shot 103.1 in a gripping ten-shot finals for an aggregate of 701.1 after scoring 598 in the qualifying round in which also he stood third.
Beijing Olympics gold medallist Abhinav Bindra could not make the final in the same event.

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