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Commonwealth Games

Meet India's most successful athlete at Commonwealth Games —Jaspal Rana

With the 2022 Commonwealth games staring us in the face, we can’t help but look at India’s most decorated CWG athlete, who has had his fair share of winning bouts and debatable moments.

Jaspal Rana - Indias most successful athlete at the Commonwealth Games (Source: NRAI)
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Jaspal Rana - India's most successful athlete at the Commonwealth Games (Source: NRAI)

By

Rajdeep Saha

Published: 4 July 2022 6:54 AM GMT

Jaspal Rana is a former Indian shooter has represented the country at the highest level and proved himself amongst the best at the Asiad as well as Commonwealth Games. He is the most successful Indian athlete in the country's history at the Commonwealth Games.

Rana's medal-winning-spree at the CWG started back in the 1994 edition in Victoria, Canada. He clinched two gold, a silver and a bronze in various shooting events which earned him the coveted Arjuna Award at the impressionable age of eighteen.

Not long after, he was bestowed with the Padma Shri which just showed the immense contribution he had to Indian sports via his marksman skills. He continued his winning streak at the 1998, 2002 as well as the 2006 Games, collecting a staggering 15 medals in total over his CWG career. Till date, he stands tall as India's most successful athlete at the erstwhile British Empire Games.

Besides his sporting exploits and national awards, he has his own institute where aspiring sports enthusiasts train under him as well as other able coaches to continue India's rich shooting tradition. The school came into being back in 2002, with it being named Jaspal Rana Institute of Education and Technology. It is situated in his hometown of Uttarakhand.

Shortly after he hung up his shooting gear, he entered the world of politics. While he initially was a part of the Bharatiya Janata Party, he later joined the Indian National Congress where he continues to be an active part of the party.

Rana continues to contribute medals to India's kitty after his career his own shooting career. He is now seen accompanying the Indian junior shooters to various competitions as a coach.

However, his coaching career is not without controversy. Right after the Indian shooting contingent couldn't live up to their expectations at the Tokyo Olympics, fingers were pointed to Jaspal Rana. The junior coach, who was prodigy Manu Bhaker's mentor as well, was blamed and pegged as a detriment to India's shooting performance. Bhaker too revealed that she was neglected by Rana in the lead-up to the Games.

A while after Tokyo, Rana was sent with the Junior shooting team for the Junior World Championship which was held in Lima, Peru. The former shooter accompanied the 36-member-team as the chief coach.

"I am going as a national coach. I am not going as anybody's personal coach. If any player needs me, I am there," he was quoted as saying.

While Rana remained silent on Manu Bhaker's comments, the Indian team came back as victors from the Lima tournament with a massive 43 medals. Moreover, Manu Bhaker herself set a record to be the first Indian to collect the most number of medals in an edition of the ISSF Junior World Championships.

Say what you will about the person that is Jaspal Rana. You can't deny that he still remains as an influential figure in the Indian shooting circuit, both as a successful former athlete as well as a guiding hand to many after him.


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