Shooter Gagan Narang has voiced his concerns towards Tokyo-bound Olympics, believing their preparations for the Olympics Games next year have been severely affected due to the nationwide lockdown imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Also Read - Coronavirus Outbreak: IOC Committing Upto $800 Million For Postponed Tokyo Olympics
While the postponement of the Summer Games has been a blessing a disguise for some, Narang reckons there are many, especially those who have qualified for the event, for whom the postponement, couple with the lockdown couldn’t have come at a worse time. Also Read - Manu Bhaker 'Very Hopeful' of Tokyo Olympics Taking Place Next Year, Says Confident of Maintaining my Game And Hitting Peak Form There
“For those preparing for Olympics, the lockdown is definitely a setback,” Narang told Times of India. “But I have spoken to several sportspersons and my trainees. They have started adjusting to the situation. When there are highs, there will be lows too. They have started to find solutions. Some are pursuing their hobbies. Hitherto, because of their tight schedule, they never had time to focus on hobbies. Dhanush Srikanth is painting, which is his pastime. Some others have started singing, cooking etc.” Also Read - PV Sindhu Urges Former Indian Players to Step up to Handle Paucity of Foreign Coaches
As far as shooting is concerned, the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) last month decided that there will be no further trials, and are expected to announce India’s shooting contingent for the Olympics. 2019 was a year where a total of 15 shooting quotas for the Summer Games were sealed and with the overall medal tally standing at 21 gold, six silver and three bronze, India was on top of all Rifle-Pistol World Cups and Finals.
“It would be a mixed feeling for the record 15 prospective Olympians, who had qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Games now postponed to 2021. It’s a big setback for shooters who have prepared really hard for the Games because they need to prepare all over again,” Narang, who has represented India in four consecutive Olympics Games explained.
Meanwhile, at Narang’s Gun For Glory academy, the shooter admits to at times, being part of online sessions. The 36-year-old shooter doesn’t mind the lockdown much as it has provided him a break and a chance to be with his folks.
“I have been shooting for the last two decades and the hectic schedule kept me away from my parents. My father, Bhimsen Narang, who is a retired chief manager in Air India, and mother Amarjit Narang, are 75. Luckily, only some age-related issues, but I was able to spend time with them. In the last 20 years, this is the longest I’ve been at home and savoured home cooked food. I’m fortunate to be spending time with them after all these years,” Gagan said.
“Generally, sportspersons are very positive. It’s rare to find a sportsperson without his/her share of sorrow or defeats. They face numerous challenges and need to find solutions in everyday life. Staying positive is the mantra for any sportsperson and it will keep them in good stead.”