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Rana named Asiad's best sportsperson

December 12, 2006 21:56 IST

Jaspal Rana, who returned from oblivion to scoop three gold medals in pistol events in Doha, has been declared 'Best Sportsperson' of the 15th Asian Games.

The enfant terrible of Indian shooting is the first sportsperson from the country to bag the coveted honour. He will now fly back to Doha to receive the honour.

The award will be conferred on him during the Games' Closing Ceremony on December 15, Rana said in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Rana won the first shooting gold medal for the country 12 years ago at the Hiroshima Asiad. This edition saw him pick three gold medals and a silver in pistol shootng.

"I am very happy and I will be going to Doha to personally accept the award," the 30-year-old gushed after receiving the news from the National Rifle Association of India.

Rana, who returned to Delhi only on Saturday with the rest of the Indian shooting contingent, felt the award may have gone his way from among 10,000 competitors at the Games because he braved ill health en route to winning the medal in the centre fire competition with a world-equalling mark (590).

NRAI secretary Baljeet Singh Sethi said it is a "big achievement" not only for Rana but for the entire country.

"It is very big news. He has been declared best among 10,000 participants. Even China, who are bagging the gold by sackfulls could not get this award," he said.

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