Tokyo 2020: Elavenil Valarivan one of the strongest medal contenders- Narang

The London 2012 bronze medallist was speaking at the campaign launched by his Gun For Glory Academy to cheer the Indian contingent in the Tokyo Olympics.

London Olympics bronze medallist Gagan Narang watches as Telangana Sports Minister V. Srinivas Goud aim the target at the SATS shooting ranges in Hyderabad on Wednesday.   -  V V SUBRAHMANYAM

London Olympics bronze medalist and ace shooter Gagan Narang reiterated that Indian can well return with an improved shooting performance in the Tokyo Olympics given the kind of mix of youth, experience and talent the squad has.

"It was a privilege and honour to see the World No. 1 Elavenil Valarivan train during the peak of the pandemic here with her coach. And, I strongly believe she is one of the strongest medal contenders given the consistency she has shown at the highest level," he said.

Speaking at the campaign launched by his Gun For Glory Academy to cheer the Indian contingent in the Tokyo Olympics at the Central University SATS shooting ranges on Wednesday, Gagan said he was particularly pleased that six from GFG have made it to the Tokyo Games including in the Paralympics.

"The idea of setting up GFG is to popularise the sport and make it more affordable for the ordinary people also. We Now have centres across India in eight States with talent search done for 45,000 shooters," he said.

"The GFG has already produced eight Olympians and 205 international medallists and the urge is to produce more," Gagan said.

“I remember when I won the 2002 National Games gold and then the 2003 Afro-Asian Games at the ranges here, I was one big name from this City. Now, my target is to produce Olympic shooters from Telangana,” he said.

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Gagan said that thanks to support of Mr. K. T.Rama Rao, Telangana IT Minister and the MoU with the State Government which facilitated an investment of about Rs. 3 crores so far in the GFG at the ranges here they could produce some gifted talent line Esha Singh, Dhanush Srikanth.

“Now with the help of the State Government, there is a desire to improve the facilities at this shooting range to much higher standards,” Gagan said.

Telangana Sports Minister V. Srinivas Goud, who revealed that he was a regular shooter himself displaying the Shooting Association membership card, promised Gagan to extend all possible help in producing champion shooters.

“Our endeavour is to promote shooting in a big way to see the City emerge as a hub for the sport in the country like badminton,” the Minister said.

Gagan’s coach Niranjan Reddy, SATS chairman A. Venkateshwar Reddy were among those present.

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