Narang takes a dig at Khel Ratna selection criteria

New Delhi: Disappointed at not getting the
coveted Khel Ratna, ace Indian shooter Gagan Narang on Sunday took
a dig at its selection criteria, saying the country`s highest
sporting honour seems to be decided more on the basis of
public and media perception than the athletes` performance.

The world number two Narang yesterday became the first
Indian to qualify for 2012 London Olympics after shooting a
bronze in the 10 metre air rifle event in the 50th World
Championship in Munich.

"I am very very disappointed over what happened to me. It
was third time in a row. I think, Khel Ratna is just inclusion
of the public perception and media perception.”

"It was disheartening to know that I was in run for my
achievement in 2009, I was in with a chance in 2008 also. But
I would rather like my guns to talk and hope that the bronze
medal opens up a few blind folds," Narang told a news channel.

In the final round in Munich, Narang held his nerves to
shoot a score of 102 which helped him bag bronze in a strong
field of 128 shooters.

The Indian lamented that even the world record could not
fetch him the country`s top sports award.

"I thought that I would get when I shot the world record
and I am still the world record holder," said Narang.

National sports awards selection committee headed by P T
Usha met here on July 30 and decided to bestow the Khel Ratna
award to ace shuttler Saina Nehwal.