India will complete 75 years of Independence this year. Here is a series acknowledging 75 great sporting achievements by Indian athletes. Sportstar will present one iconic sporting achievement each day, leading up to August 15, 2022.

Jaspal Rana's three gold medals at 2006 Doha Asian Games

Shooter Jaspal Rana won three gold medals and a silver at the 15th Asian Games in Doha on December 7-8, 2006.

He cried like a child at the Lusail Shooting Complex after his remarkable performance. It was his fourth Asian Games, and the 30-year-old shooter had taken his tally of medals to four golds and two silvers at the quadrennial event.

As the other accomplished Indian shooters failed to strike gold, it was left to Jaspal to claim the top honours. He had done it at the 1994 Hiroshima Asian Games, but not many expected him to repeat it in Doha after a gap of 12 years when he had been distracted by so many facets of life.


From left: Samresh Jung, Vijay Kumar and Jaspal Rana of India pose with the gold medals won during the Men's Shooting 25m Centre Fire Pistol Team competition during the 15th Asian Games at the Lusail Shooting Centre on December 8, 2006 in Doha, Qatar.


In Doha, Jaspal was calm and focussed on his technique during his events. He was running a fever and felt dizzy, but he never allowed anything to affect his concentration as he kept hitting the bull's eye. However, when he was on the verge of setting a world record in centre-fire pistol on December 8, a sudden gush of emotion overcame him and Jaspal managed only 9s on his last two shots.

It was perhaps his destiny. Considering the form he was in at that point of time, Jaspal could have easily hit the 10s. Yet, the effort was good enough to win him the individual gold medal, and also the team gold for India. It also entered his name in the record books with half a dozen other shooters.

"I am happy to have won the gold with a good score,'' said a modest Jaspal. Samaresh Jung and Vijay Kumar were classy in the end to ensure that the team gold did not slip out of India's grasp.

Jaspal's golden run had begun the previous day with the victory in standard pistol. He had shot into prominence in 1994 by winning the World junior title in this event.

(The article was first published in Sportstar on December 16, 2006 )