Narang threatens to pull out of Games after Khel Ratna snub
New Delhi: In what could be a big setback to India’s medal hopes at Commonwealth Games, shooter Gagan Narang is considering pulling out of the mega event after being ignored for coveted Khel Ratna award.
Narang, who won four gold medals at 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, said the snub has left him demoralised and demotivated and he is yet to decide about his participation in the October 3-14 multi-sporting event at home.
“I am really disappointed at not being given the Khel Ratna. It has left me in sort of not knowing what to do now. I have no motivation left to compete in the Commonwealth Games,” Narang told reporters from Hyderabad.
“I don’t know what to do now though I have not taken a decision that yes I will not take part in the Commonwealth Games. But I am really disappointed and demoralised,” added Narang, who last week became the first Indian to qualify for London Olympics after winning bronze in 10 metre air rifle event in Munich World Championships.
Narang had questioned the selection criteria, saying that the country’s highest sporting honour seems to be decided more on the basis of public and media perception than the athletes’ performance.
Badminton ace Saina Nehwal was selected for Khel Ratna following his her stupendous success.
Asked when he would take a call to either skip or take part in the Games, he said, “I can’t say it now. I have just returned from Munich from the World Championship and I had prepared for it (world Championship) for a year and I deserve a rest. I can’t say about my future now.”
In Melbourne, Narang won gold in 10m Air Rifle, 50m Rifles 3 Position, 10m Air Rifle (pairs) and 50m Rifle 3 Position – the last two along with Abhinav Bindra.
Asked about the huge loss for the country his pull-out would entail, Narang said, “I even don’t know if I will get selected for Commonwealth Games even if I decide to take part. So ask the question to the federation.”