Hyderabad: Olympic bronze medallist shooter Gagan Narang has organized a #Cheer4India campaign for the country's contingent for the Tokyo Olympics which opens in the Japanese capital on Friday.
The 2012 London Games medallist hosted the event at his Gun for Glory academy range in the city. Telangana's Sports Minister V Srinivas Goud was among the guests present at the event which was also attended by sports journalists.
Among the 15-member Indian shooting team in Tokyo, Narang's protege Elavenil Valarivan is considered one of the brightest prospects for a medal at the Games.
The 21-year-old Valarivan is from the Gagan Narang Sports Promotion Foundation (GNSPF), founded by the ace shooter-turned-mentor and Pawan Singh.
Goud urged everyone to rally behind the Indian contingent.
Narang said, "There is plenty of hope this time. The way the Indian contingent was given a send-off to Tokyo was very pleasing sight. All these initiatives have created a buzz around Olympics. It is a much-needed boost. The players need that type of encouragement.
"There is tremendous coordination between the sports ministry and the different national federations. They are all working together for the benefit of athletes. The athletes have become the centre of attraction unlike the past."
Speaking about the shooting contingent he added, "In the last two years, our shooters have excelled in all big international tournaments. Our shooters are placed at World No. 1, 2 or 3. This raises expectation and hopes.
"The shooters are in a much better frame of mind and the preparation going into the Tokyo Olympics has also been good."
On young rifle shooter Elavenil, a student of Narang's academy, he said the whole GFG team has been working with her for last seven years, adding that she has come through the ranks.
GNSPF was established in January 2011 and runs the Gun for Glory Shooting Academy. It is a not-for-profit organisation and started its first academy at the Shiv Chhatrapati Shivaji Stadium in Balewadi, Pune.
This world class academy was established with the aim of identifying young talent at the right time to produce newer stars in shooting.