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Narang wins World Cup gold with new record

November 05, 2008 16:39 IST

Ace Indian shooter Gagan Narang shrugged off his Beijing [Images] Olympics' [Images] disappointment and set a new world record en route to winning the gold in the 10m air rifle event in the World Cup finals in Bangkok on Wednesday.

Narang scored 703.5 -- a perfect 600 in the qualifying and 103.5 in the final -- to break Austria's Farnik Thomas's record, set in the 2006 World Cup final in Granada, Spain.

This victory was like a breath of fresh air for Narang, who missed the final round at the Beijing Games by a whisker after losing out on a count-back. Moreover, the tournament had a strong field comprising Beijing Games medallists Chinese Zhu Qinan and Henn Hakkinen of Finland.

Matthew Emmons of the United States, with a score of 702.5 (598+104.5) bagged the silver, while the bronze went to Beijing Olympics silver medallist Zhu, who shot 702.3 (599+103.3).

After Gagan fired the impeccable score in the qualification round, he was in the lead all through the 10-shot final. His first shot was a perfect 10.9 while others could shoot only into the ninth ring.

Gagan kept his cool to maintain a two-point lead before scoring 10.3 to finish on top.

Sidi Peter of Hungary, Athens Olympics gold and Beijing

Olympics silver medallist Zhu Quinan from China and fourth-placed Henry Hakkinen of Finland were just a point adrift of Gagan at 599.

Gagan said his win was special because Barack Obama [Images], who won the United States' Presidential election on Wednesday, was his source of inspiration.

"It's indeed a sweet victory after a heartbreak in Beijing. After the Beijing disappointment I have become more focused, dedicated and hungry for a world title and this victory is special as (Barack) Obama won in the USA after all hard work and I drew inspiration from his accomplishment," the Hyderabad marksman said.

Gagan, who missed an Olympic medal by a whisker in Beijing, dedicated the medal to national coach Sunny Thomas.

"I want to thank and dedicate this gold medal to my coach, Prof. Sunny Thomas, and Laszlo Scuzak and National Rifle Association of India and the government for believing in me and supporting me all through," he said.

"I also want to thank Geet Sethi's Olympic gold quest foundation," he added.

© Copyright 2008 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.

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