Samresh Jung might have missed out on a record seven gold medals but the ace Indian marksman more than made up for it after being adjudged the 'Best Athlete of the 18th Commonwealth Games' in Melbourne on Sunday.
Jung, who won five gold, a silver and a bronze in pistol shooting competition, becomes the first Indian to bag the honour in Commonwealth Games' history.
The 35-year old CISF Inspector from Delhi had set a target of winning an unprecedented seven gold in a single edition of the Games at the start of the event. But a wandering mind in a shoot-out forced him to settle for bronze in the 25 metre centrefire pistol individual event before a malfunctioning gun in the standard fire pistol individual competition saw him end up ninth.
Jung has already left for China, where he will be competing in the ISSF Shooting World Cup.
H J Dora, chef de mission of the Indian contingent in Melbourne, said: "It is a rare honour for an Indian athlete and it will inspire the younger generation in the country to come up with more medal-winning performances in the international arena.
"The whole Indian contingent is proud of Jung's exploits. The long periods of training and hard work put in by him has borne fruit."