Rifle ace Narang clinches silver medal in Kuwait in the International Shooting Grand Prix

With just over four months to go for the London Olympics, rifle ace Gagan Narang is shaping up well for a shot at the most coveted gold medal in the sport.

Gagan Narang (left) on the podium at the Kuwait Grand Prix

Gagan Narang (left) on the podium at the Kuwait Grand Prix

On Wednesday, Narang won a silver medal in the 10m air rifle event at the HH The Amir of Kuwait International Shooting Grand Prix, losing out on top spot to Hungarian Peter Sidi.

Narang, who won four Commonwealth Games gold medals in New Delhi in 2010 and two silver medals at the Guangzhou Asian Games, spent the last year struggling with a knee injury.

But now, after a strong training stint in Pune, Narang shot series of 99, 99, 99, 100, 98 and 100 to finish the qualification round with 595 points and 53 inner-10 hits (tie-breaker). The bronze medal was won by Zeljko Moicevic of Slovenia with a score of 595 and 49 inner-10s.

The Indian shotgun team will participate in the first of three World Cups of the year in Tucson, USA, starting on Friday.

India has sent a contingent of 14 shooters to take part in the event, though out of the three who have qualified for the London Olympics, trap ace Manavjit Singh Sandhu has elected not to compete in the event, choosing instead to train in Italy.

'Manav is working on a couple of things privately and didn't want to upset his training schedule by going for this World Cup. But he will surely be By Mail Today Correspondent in New Delhi competing in the World Cup in London next month,' sources close to the former world champion told Mail Today.

The other Olympians, Ronjan Sodhi and Shagun Chowdhary, will take part in the double trap and women's trap competitions respectively. Joining Sodhi in the double trap event on Wednesday will be Sangram Dahiya and Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, while Shagun will be joined by Seema Tomar and Varsha Varman in the latter event next Friday.

In the absence of Sandhu, the trap team comprises of Anirudh Singh, Prithviraj Tondaiman and veteran Anwer Sultan, who will compete on Friday and Saturday.

The competition will kick off on Sunday with skeet. India will be represented by Arti Singh Rao and Rashmee Rathore in the women's event while national champion Allan Daniel Peoples, Mairaj Ahmad Khan and Man Singh will be competing in the men's event.