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Gagan really deserves the medal: Rasquinha

Last updated on: July 31, 2012 19:52 IST

Gagan Narang's bronze at the London Olympics on Monday was India's third in shooting and eighth individual medal overall from the quadrennial extravaganza.

Joining the celebrations of Hyderabad-based Punjab shooter's success was none other than Olympic Gold Quest, which has played a key role in the 29-year-old's development in the last few years, taking care of all his needs, like having a mental trainer during the Games, a physio and funding for the best equipment.

Viren Rasquinha, the Chief Operating Officer of Olympic Gold Quest, was understandably a proud man, since Narang was the first athlete to be supported by his organisation.

Rasquinha, in an e-mail interview with Harish Kotian, says Narang deserves all the plaudits for the medal; OGQ only had a small role in his rise.

What do you think of Gagan's success?

Gagan really deserves the medal. He was unsuccessful at two previous Olympics. Beijing, especially, was heartbreaking, as he was one of the favourites for the gold and missed out on a final spot on the count-back rule.

But he has shown great perseverance, and dedication to his training and preparation. His talent, composure, class and character stood out in the final round yesterday.

Gagan NarangThis is India's first medal at London 2012 and we at OGQ are so happy that we had a small role to play.

We sent Gagan's mental trainer to London during the event and also his personal physio to Hannover before the Olympics and during the Olympics. We also sent him twice abroad for pellets and ammo testing in the last one year. But, most importantly, I think the emotional support that Gagan has received during these past four years after Beijing is OGQ's biggest contribution to him.

What does the medal mean for OGQ, which has strived so much in the last few years to produce Olympic champions?

It just makes the entire team so proud. OGQ works very closely with the system. The government and the sports ministry has done very well in the last four years and spent huge money on sport. Union Sports Minister Ajay Maken has done a wonderful job in being proactive and efficient in funding the Olympic athletes through the NSDF.

OGQ supplements this funding and we provide very focused support and training to the athletes and bridge the gap in training. We need more and more sustained funding for the future to support more athletes and groom future Olympic champions. Gagan's medal will hopefully get corporate houses more interested in funding OGQ and making a nation proud.

What does Gagan's achievement mean for Indian sport? How would you rank it?

Gagan's achievement is huge; right up there with every Olympic medal won by Indians before. Also, it has really lifted the entire nation and, definitely, the Indian contingent. You can feel the self belief returning now. Hopefully, this is the start of many more medals to come for India.