Gagan Narang’s quest for Olympic glory took another significant step forward when he signed a long-term contract with former 50-meter rifle three positions world champion Peter Sidi of Hungary with the specific intention of producing medallists for India.
The 45-year-old Hungarian shooter is in the city to train a select batch of 30 shooters (both boys and girls) in rifle and pistol categories, who were essentially picked from the national selection trials and dreaming big.
“Me and Sidi have competed together at many competitions. He is a dedicated master at work. The shooters are fortunate to be able to get the knowledge. There will be a special session for the budding and upcoming shooters of Telangana during the camp,” India’s London Olympics bronze medallist explained in a chat with ‘The Hindu’.
“This is part of our Project Leap programme, supported by Olympic Gold Quest, which aims at ensuring there is a continuity in producing champion shooters who can be potential medal contenders in the Olympics,” Gagan said in a chat with Sportstar.
“Most of them will be below 21 years of age and this is part of the Olympic Cycle through which we aspire to produce champions,” said Gagan, who is also the vice president of the Indian Olympic Association.
The shooters will be training at the SATS Gachibowli shooting ranges on the University of Hyderabad campus and also at Gun For Glory Academy in Pune to make them acclimatise to different conditions.
“Obviously, I am glad with the way the Gun For Glory has contributed to the success story of the Indian shooting, the best example being our own Hyderabadi Esha Singh, who won four medals in the Hangzhou Asiad (one gold, three silver),” Gagan said.
Peter Sidi will be engaged in the high-performance programme for the first time for one full year and it encompasses most of the significant aspects of any athlete’s training ensuring a support system taking care of sports science, nutrition, psychological tests, biological feedbacks, blood tests and most importantly involves critical assessments and if needed their tenure in the programme will be extended.
“I am honoured to join GNSPF as a coach for Project Leap. The Academy has always been at the forefront of fostering shooting talent, and I look forward to working with passionate athletes and contributing to their growth. Together, we will strive to produce champions who will make their mark on the world stage,” said Sidi.
“We also make sure that this young talent gets the best of the opportunities by charting out the tournament schedule where they can showcase their skills,” said Shivam Yadav, head of operations at the Academy.