The Haryana government Monday announced a reward of Rs.one crore for shooter Gagan Narang for winning a bronze medal for the country in the 10-metre Air Rifle event at the London Olympics. This is the first medal for India in the 2012 Games.
Even though Narang does not belong to Haryana, he has been given the reward under the category of sportspersons from the state as his family roots are from the northern state.
Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda announced the reward for Narang immediately after he won bronze in the shooting event in London on Monday.
Narang, who lives in Hyderabad, had told Hooda in October 2010, after the New Delhi Commonwealth Games (CWG), that his family had lived in Haryana’s Panipat town, 180 km from here, for decades before moving down south Hooda said Narang has brought laurels to the state and the country.
The chief minister said players from Haryana winning a gold medal in the Olympics would get Rs.2.5 crore, silver medallists Rs.1.5 crore and those winning bronze Rs.one crore.
A crore is a special number in India, equal to 10,000,000. Ten million. So ten million rupees is $179,800, depending on what time you run the currency converter.
Narang was also rewarded for winning medals at the 2010 Common Wealth Games in Delhi. Narang, who won four gold medals in shooting in Delhi, walked away with a cash bonanza of Rs.37.5 lakh, and a new car worth Rs.8 lakh..
A lakh is another of those special Indian numbers, this one being equal to 100,000; 37.5 lakh Rupees is about $67,500.
The Olympic event was won by Romanian Alin George Moldoveanu, giving his country their first gold medal in these games. Silver went to Niccolo Campriani from Italy. The final scores between the top 3 places spanned one entire point: Moldoveanu 702.1 points, Campriani 701.5 points, Gagan Narang 701.1.
The Men’s Air Rifle competition uses a .177 caliber (4.5mm) air rifle with open sights, no sling, 12.13lb weight, standing position only. The course of fire scores 10 for a bulls eye for the first 60 shots in 105 minutes, and the top 8 qualifiers then fire an additional 10 rounds at an amazingly small target where the 9 ring is barely larger than a single caliber across - a 5.5mm circle for a 4.5mm pellet, and the inner 10 ring is subdivided into 9 super-fine concentric circles, each inner one scoring a tenth more than the previous outer one so that the maximum score possible is 10.9. So a perfect 70 shot score is 709.
The cash award by his former home state somehow does not qualify as a prize or a paycheck, which allows Narang to hold on to his amateur status. Yeah Right. Go figure.
American shooter Matt Emmons did poorly, coming in 35th place. He has been plagued with back problems; holding a 12 pound rifle still as a statue for over an hour plays merry hell with your musculature.
The Colorado Springs resident got off to a slow start and finished prelims 35th.
“My back hurts, man,” Emmons said. “I haven’t been able to figure out, especially in air rifle, what I’m doing wrong in my position that’s causing it to hurt so much.”
For perspective, air rifle isn’t his specialty. He admittedly hasn’t had a good score in three years. He wasn’t expected to medal. But the back problem that has plagued him the last few months has not gone away.
And his best event, the 50-meter rifle 3 position, is next Monday.
After the competition, Emmons walked up to his wife, Katy, who shoots for the Czech Republic. She lightly put her hand on his. She knows what he’s going through.
“Katy was watching me and she said my body was just swaying back and forth,” Emmons said. “I could see that in my hold. Like when I’m looking through my sights, it’ll come down and settle down on the (bullseye) then move to the right or the left and then back and then hold. It’s just not consistent.”
He shot only a 97 out of 100 in his first of six series of a competition won by Romania’s Alin George Moldoveanu, who missed a medal in Beijing four years ago by .08 of an inch.
At least this time Emmons didn’t shoot the wrong target by accident this time, or get another DQ for starting to shoot before his allotted time.
That amateur status thing went out the window when Kobie and company showed up way back when.
Chris Everett, et al. I think it was the tennis people who ruined it first, or the pro boxers.
Pretty much agree. If they let even 1 professional athlete in even 1 event, then the whole entire “amateur” thing is gone, and they ought to allow anyone to get paid or to endorse any damn thing they want, REGARDLESS of their age. I was watching last night and they were going on about that young USA swimmer, and how she had to turn down endorsements etc. WTF man, if Apu can snap up a quarter mil for doing good with his BB gun, then it ought to be fair for some up and coming kid to get the Wheaties Box deal at 15. It’s all hypocrisy IMO.