Hyderabad: Gagan Narang on Friday conceded that the burden of high expectations is new for the shooters as they prepare for the London Olympics but promised to deliver at the biggest sporting extravaganza.
 
Expectations from the shooters have grown by leaps and bounds ever since Abhinav Bindra won that elusive gold at Beijing Olympics and performance of the Indian shooters will be watched keenly at the next year's Games.

As many as eight Indian shooters have qualified for the quadrennial event and the 2011 Khel Ratna winner is confident of coping well with the pressure.

"I think we are not used to so much of limelight, so much of being in the news. We only come in the news when we perform on the field. So, it is new for us. So, it is a high pressure situation. Hopefully, we will handle it well," Narang said on the sidelines of the three-day Hyderabad City Police sports meet which got underway on Friday

Asked if the pressure is positive or negative, Narang said, "If it gets too much, it gets negative, definitely. It requires a great deal of effort to overcome the kind of pressure that we have. I would not be able to explain that to you at the moment, but it is a high pressure situation."

Narang recently ventured into the 3 position event and would be representing India in three events in London -- 10m Air Rifle, 50m Rifle Prone and 50m Rifle 3 Position.

Lack of ammunition has crippled his preparations but as he waits for the cartridge Narang is working hard on his fitness.

"I was an air rifle shooter and now little bit into 3 position and prone 3 position and prone are events which are physically very demanding and also need good ammunition. So, working on my physical fitness at the moment and once I get my ammunition, I will be on my way for training," he said.

He has sought permission from the Director General of Civil Aviation for the import of new stock of ammunition a month back and is still waiting for the sanction.

"We just started preparations for the Olympics. My coach has chalked out a plan for me. In due course of time, I will let you know what it is in detail.

"At the moment, we have national championships coming up, internationally, we have the Asian Air Gun championship coming up in January and it is the last qualification tournament for people who have not qualified for the Olympics. So looking forward to a good competition and let's hope for the best."

(Agencies)