Olympics 2012: Huge stone off my chest, says bronze medallist Narang

Updated: Jul 31, 2012, 01:50 AM IST

London: After missing out on final qualifications in Athens and Beijing, ace marksman Gagan Narang has is third time lucky and on how own admission has got a "huge stone off his chest."

"It is like a huge stone is off my chest. I had not managed to qualify for the finals in the last two Olympics and that was really painful. But now I am happy to have finally won an Olympic medal," Narang told reporters here.

Narang is also not happy with his score.

"I am not really happy. My coach is also not happy with the score. Scoring 600 is always challenging, but I made a few technical mistakes at certain points. But then an Olympic medal is an Olympic medal," he said.

Narang gave India its first medal in the current Olympics when he shot 103.1 in a gripping 10-shot finals for an aggregate of 701.1. He had scored 598 in the qualifying round, in which, he also stood third at the Royal Artillery Barracks.

On how he coped up with the pressure, Narang said: "Pressure was immense. I shot two nines today. I could have done better. But I am happy with my medal. It means a lot to a lot of people who have worked for this."

Asked whether the celebrations back home would serve as a distraction for him in the two other events, Narang said: "I don`t know what is happening back home. I am trying to stay focused for my two other events.

"It (his effort) has been vindicated. In Beijing, I missed going to the finals due to a technicality. I think only a little credit goes out to me but my parents and sponsors have put in a lot of hard work which paid off," he added.

Narang had won four gold medals in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi followed by two silver at the Guangzhou Asian Games, a month later.

PTI