New Delhi: Gagan Narang was as pleased as punch after being bestowed with the Padma Shree award and said the honour will spur him to achieve greater deeds in the upcoming tournaments.
Narang, star cricketer VVS Laxman and world champion wrestler Sushil Kumar were among the seven sportspersons who were today honoured with the prestigious award for their contribution in their respective sports.
"It feels great to be honoured with the award, to be the chosen one, and to be in the league (of sportspersons who have been bestowed with the award)," an elated Narang told reporters.
"This will motivate me to give my best and do better in future tournaments," he said.
"I am already looking forward to the year 2011 and will then think about 2012 (the year of the Olympics)," the Hyderabadi added.
Asked if his achievements and the rewards that followed would inspire more youngsters to take up shooting seriously, Narang said, "Any award is inspiring. The government is doing a lot towards that."
Asked if he would like to thank anyone on his day of glory, Narang said the list is endless.
"It would not be fair to thank just one person. Whatever I have achieved today is because of all the blessings and well-wishes of everyone -- my parents, my coaches, the federation. Sahara and Air India," Narang said.
Laxman, who also hails from Hyderabad, lauded the shooter`s achievements saying that he deserved the award.
"It`s great that Gagan also has been bestowed with this award. The kind of achievements he has got for so many years, he deserves that," Laxman said.
Narang reiterated that the `Gun for Glory`, an academy which he is set to launch at the Balewadi Shooting Range in Pune, is his way of giving something back to the sport which has given him so much.
The academy has been conceptualised with the "aim" to provide India with more number of medals in the 2016 Olympics.
Narang had a memorable 2010, winning four gold medals in the Commonwealth Games and two silver in the Guangzhou Asian Games. He had also won four gold in the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games.
Narang, whose success story began with a gold medal in the Afro Asian Games in 2003, won a gold in ISSF World Cup in 2006 and a bronze in the 2008 edition. He also won gold in the 2008 ISSF World Cup final in Bangkok where he scored a world
record 703.5 in 10 metre air rifle.