A coach is at his proud best when his ward becomes a Dronacharya.

The first Dronacharya of Indian shooting, Prof. Sunny Thomas, was understandably elated about one of his prime wards, Jaspal Rana, winning the Dronacharya award. “Jaspal, you are like my son. I have scolded you also. Welcome to the Dronacharya club,” said Prof. Thomas, with considerable warmth, in a recent online interaction.

Jaspal’s entire shooting career, which he closed in 2006 after multiple gold medals in the Doha Asian Games, spanned within the coaching spell of Prof. Thomas that lasted till 2012. The former national coach recalled vividly how Jaspal overcame a painful knee to shoot the World Championship junior gold with a world record in 1994 in Milan. He also recalled the vibrant performances of Jaspal in the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games that year, to revolutionise Indian shooting.


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