Gagan Narang arrives home after winning Olympic bronze medal
Pune (Maharashtra)/Hamirpur (Himachal Pradesh), Aug.8 (ANI): Ace shooter Gagan Narang arrived here on Wednesday, days after winning a bronze medal in the men's 10m air rifle event at the London Olympics.
Narang received a warm welcome at the airport for bringing laurels to the country in the mega event.
Narang had snatched the bronze medal away from China's Wang Tao.
The burly Indian, who narrowly missed the final in Beijing, raised his gun above his head as his many compatriots in the crowd cheered loudly at the country's first medal of the Games.
Narang, 28, had won four gold medals at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games.
Alin George Moldoveanu of Romania produced a commanding, consistent finish to total 702.1 points for gold, ahead of Italy's Niccolo Campriani on 701.5 and Indian Gagan Narang on 701.1.
Meanwhile, India's sole silver medallist at the London Olympics, shooter Vijay Kumar also arrived in New Delhi earlier in the day from the sporting gala event.
Kumar won India's first silver medal at the London Olympics on Friday after finishing second at the men's 25m rapid-fire pistol with 30 out of 40 shots behind Cuba's Leuris Pupo.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal has hailed Kumar's achievement and announced a Rs.1 crore cash award for him.
According to media reports, Kumar, who is a Junior Commissioned officer in the Indian Army, has threatened to quit the services, if he is not granted a promotion.
Vijay had said on Tuesday that he would quit the Army, as he has not been given a single promotion in the last six years, despite good performances at national and international meets.
Reacting to the reports, Union Sports Minister Ajay Maken said that the Sports Authority of India is inviting the Olympians to join them as group B officers, and those who win the medal will be promoted to group A officers grade.
Maken said: "Any elite athlete and an athlete who has represented India in Olympics, he is a world class athlete and he should be treated accordingly."
He added: " So, that is why we have been saying that as a sports minister, I have always been saying so, that all such sportspersons who have competed, who have represented India at the Olympics, they should be given officer's grade job in the government."
"So, if any of these government organisations, including the army is unable to do so, the Sports Authority of India is today coming out with an advertisement at its website, where in we are inviting all Olympians to join Sports Authority of India as group B officers grade services and any of such Olympian who wins a medal will automatically be promoted as group A entry level, which is equivalent to an IAS officers grade," said Maken in New Delhi.
The stakes have risen for shooting in cricket-obsessed India since Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore won the double trap silver at the 2004 Athens Olympics and Abhinav Bindra won gold in men's 10m air rifle event at the 2008 Beijing Games. (ANI)
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