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75 years of independence: Iconic moments from Indian sports – Gagan Narang’s bronze medal at 2012 London Olympics

India will complete 75 years of Independence this year. Here is a series acknowledging greatest sporting achievements by Indian athletes.

Olympic bronze medalist Gagan Narang (10m air rifle) from the 2012 London Games

Gagan Narang triumphed in the final round of the 10m air rifle competition at the London Games under the burden of being the only shooting medal contender for India.

Prior to the final competition shot of the 10m air rifle final at the Summer Games in London on July 29, 2012, Narang, who was in third position, was only 0.3 points ahead of Dutchman Peter Hellenbrand. Wang Tao of China, who was 0.4 short, was also close behind.

Before making his final shot, which was nearly perfect and scored a 10.7, the Chennai-born shooter closed his eyes one more time. While Wang hit a 10.4 to jump up to the fourth place, Hellenbrand gave in to the pressure to manage only a 9.7.

Narang looked at his monitor, then breathed a sigh of relief while fervently mouthing an inaudible “Yes!” Alin Moldoveanu of Romania (702.1) and Niccol Campriani of Italy (701.5) won gold and silver, respectively, while he earned the bronze with a final score of 701.1.

‘It was a big, big monkey off my back. This was my Olympics . I had participated in the first one when I was a 21-year-old. It went by in a jiffy. (For) the second one, I was much better prepared. I had been World No. 1 two years ago and in good form but then of course things did not work out the way they should have in Beijing. But the fire was burning even brighter within me because I had narrowly missed out,’ Narag said.

‘Instead of aiming for the top two spots, I made an effort to maintain my third place. wanted to keep that position. I always took the final three photos after Wang had done. Because it’s possible that getting a different result inspires you to improve your technique and execute the shot more skillfully. I outscored him in all three of my most recent attempts,’ he continued.


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