Jaspal Rana is an Indian shooter and a shooting coach well-known for winning gold medals at the 1994 Asian Games, 1998 Commonwealth Games, 2002 Commonwealth Games, and several other medals at different events.
Jaspal Rana was born on Monday, 28 June 1976 (age 47 years; as of 2023) in Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand. His zodiac sign is Cancer. He completed his schooling at Kendriya Vidyalaya School, Air Force Station Tigri Camp Tuklakabad, New Delhi.
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Family & Caste
Parents & Siblings
Jaspal’s father’s name is Narayan Singh Rana, and his mother’s name is Shyama Rana. His father was an Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) officer. He has a brother, Subhash Rana, and a sister, Sushma Singh. Both his siblings are renowned shooters. Sushma is married to Pankaj Singh, son of Minister of Defence of India Rajnath Singh.
Wife & Children
Jaspal Rana got married to Reena Rana, and together they have two children- Yuvraj Rana, and Devanshi Rana. Devanshi Rana followed in her father’s footsteps and became a shooter for the Indian shooting team.
Jaspal Rana started his shooting career at a very early age. He was around 10 years old when his father introduced him to the sport of shooting. Narayan Rana was an ITBP officer, Jaspal was surrounded by forces and guns and he got interested in the sport. His father was his first coach and Jaspal started training with rifles and pistols, but he settled for a pistol for his sport. At the age of 12, Jaspal made his national debut at the 31st National Shooting Championships that was held in Ahmedabad in 1988, and he won a silver medal in the competition. In 1994, he made his international debut at the 46th World Shooting Championships and set a record score during the event in Milan, Italy. During the event, Jaspal made the record of 590 points in the 25-meter centerfire pistol event. He got the same score again in 1995 in Coimbatore, and in 1997 in Bangalore during national championships. After the 1994 record-breaking performance in Milan, Jaspal Rana bagged a gold medal in the 1994 Asian Games that took place in Hiroshima. In 1994, he was honoured with the Arjuna Award, and in 1997, Jaspal received the Padma Shri for his consistent performance in various national and international events. Jaspal has several medals in his pocket including the gold medals he won in 1998, 2002, and 2006, Commonwealth Games.
In 2006, Jaspal Rana joined Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to mark the beginning of his political career. In 2009, he contested the Lok Sabha elections from Tehri district, however, he lost the elections to Vijay Bahuguna, a Congress candidate. Later, Jaspal Rana left BJP and joined Indian National Congress (INC) in 2012. He is an active member of the party and works in Dehradun.
- In 2019, Jaspal Rana found himself in the middle of a controversy when a case was filed against the government over the list of Dronacharya Awardees for the 2019 ceremony. The plea was filed by advocate Rahul Mehra who was representing the association and had asked the court to ask the government to reconsider the list and add Jaspal Rana’s name to the list. Mehra was asked to withdraw the plea as it was not filed by Jaspal Rana himself, who at that time was in Rio de Janerio with the team for the World Cup events. Mehra told the court that a copy of the vakalatnaama will be sent by Jaspal Rana by Monday. He told the court that Jaspal has trained several award-winning athletes like Manu Bhaker, Saurabh Chaudhary, Arjun Singh, Devanshi Rana, etc.
- In 2021, the shooting team of India performed poorly in the 10-meter air pistol events and mixed team shooting events. Raninder Singh, the president of the National Rifle Association of India, went on record and said that Jaspal Rana was the negative factor in the team. Indian olympian, Manu Bhaker, also backed up his statement and said that Jaspal Rana was the reason behind her poor performance as he did not give her enough time during the training sessions. Jaspal responded to these allegations during an interview and said-
Those representing and running the sport in the country should stop manipulating and blaming others. The NRAI can blame me. Everybody can blame me. But is that the only thing that happened? Are they saying they have no role to play in India’s poor showing at the Olympics?”
- During the Tokyo Olympic qualifiers, Jaspal Rana suggested that Chinki Yadav should be sent for the 25-meter pistol events and Manu should focus on the 10-meter events instead of participating in all the events. Jaspal said-
Which shooter in the world competes in three different events? It was an extra burden on Manu and even if you pick up scores from last year, Chinki defeated Manu in almost every event in the 25 metre sport pistol. Yes, I supported Chinki because as a coach, I can see merit. Chinki deserved a place in the Olympic squad in the 25m sport pistol category, but we let her down. I can say this with guarantee that had Manu competed only in the 10m air pistol and 10m mixed teams event at Tokyo, she would have surely brought home a medal. An athlete has to know where to focus and how to play as per their strengths.”
- After the clash between the duo, Jaspal and Manu parted ways a few months before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Manu complained that Jaspal, as a coach, was not paying much attention to her during the training sessions. Things went too far when Jaspal Rana wore a t-shirt with the message on its back that was sent to him by Manu’s mother, Sumedha. Jaspal Rana further added-
It is unfortunate that such things happen to people after doing so much for your sport. Yes, I did put up that message but if this message came from Manu’s mother, she does not have any right to criticise a national coach. I had to put it out for them to remember what they were doing. And please remember, I never put anyone’s name on the message (on my t-shirt).”
- In the end, Jaspal said that being a shooter himself, he understands the sport and what is the best thing for a player to do. He said-
I have been picked for this job because I understand this sport and I am here to make decisions. These 17 or 18-year-old shooters cannot decide how a national team will run or which players should be picked up. That decision is best left to the coach. I was not working against Manu. I was working in her best interest and sadly, they perhaps do not understand that.”
- Gold medal in the 1994 ISSF World Shooting Championships in Milan (25 m standard pistol) (juniors)
- Gold medal in the 1994 Asian Games in Hiroshima (25 m center fire pistol)
- Bronze medal in the 1994 Asian Games in Hiroshima (25 m center fire pistol team)
- Gold medal in the 1995 Asian Shooting Championships in Jakarta (25 m standard pistol)
- Silver medal in the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok (25 m center fire pistol)
- Bronze medal in the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok (25 m center fire pistol team)
- Bronze medal in the 2000 Asian Shooting Championships in Langkawi (25 m center fire pistol)
- Gold medal in the 2002 Commonwealth Games (25 m standard pistol)
- Gold medal in the 2006 Asian Games in Doha (25 m center fire pistol team)
- Gold medal in the 2006 Asian Games in Doha (25 m standard pistol)
- Silver medal in the 2006 Asian Games in Doha (25 m standard pistol team)
Awards & Honours
- Arjuna Award in 1994
- Padma Shri in 1997
- Dronacharya Award in 2020
H. No. 12, Village Manjhon, PS-Cantt, District Dehradun
- Cash: Rs. 25,000
- Banks: Rs. 58.17 lakh
- NSS, Postal Savings, etc.: Rs. 1 lakh
- Jewelry: Rs. 3.55 lakh
- Others: Rs. 10.75 lakh
- Agricultural Land: Rs. 23.95 lakh
- Non-Agricultural Land: Rs. 11.70 lakh
- Buildings: Rs. 20 lakh
- Others: Rs. 8 lakh
- The gold medal in Milan, Italy was a memorable win for Jaspal Rana as he was suffering from a boil on his knee. He was in excruciating pain and was admitted to a hospital with his coach. The doctors suggested he skip the tournament and wait for the surgery, but he decided to leave the hospital with the coach and participate in the World Shooting Championships event. He didn’t take any painkillers as he was not aware of the doping test instructions and policy, and despite the pain, he participated in the event and bagged his first international medal in the junior section. He also made a junior’s world record in the 25-meter pistol shooting event. In an interview after the event, Jaspal told the events that took place the previous day and said-
As a shooter, all my achievements are memorable because it’s almost 16 years of winning and losing and lots of ups and downs but 1994 Milan World Championships when I won gold with world record (is special) because I was in hospital on the night before the competition as I had a boil on my knee and it was very bad. Doctors refused us to discharge me and my coach Sunny Thomas decided to run away from there because I wanted to shoot. We came back the next day and got the surgery done.”
- After the 2019 award nomination controversy, Jaspal Rana was honoured with the Dronacharya award in 2020. The ceremony was held virtually in the presence of the President of India Ram Nath Kovind, and members of Vigyan Bhawan due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Jaspal was happy to receive the award as two of his students Manu Bhaker, and Saurabh Chaudhary also received the Arjuna Award in the same year. During the interview, Jaspal said-
What can be a prouder moment than this. This award doesn’t belong to me or an individual, but it belongs to the entire team which has worked alongside me, the federation, and my students.”
- In 2016, Jaspal Rana’s father-in-law, A S Bisht, committed suicide. He shot himself at his residence in the Sainik Farm area, Delhi. Jaspal received a call from the South Delhi Neb Sarai police station about the incident, and Jaspal and his wife, Reena reached Delhi as soon as they could. The reason for suicide was known to be the losses faced by him in all his businesses. The police took in the body for post-mortem and later, it was given to the family to perform the final rites. The Indian Express
- Being raised in a family of athletes, Jaspal Rana’s daughter, Devanshi Rana also chose to become a shooter and she is a part of the Indian shooting team. She has helped India win gold medals during the ISSF Junior World Cup in 2018 in Germany.
- While Jaspal Rana is a coach for several junior and senior-level players, he also runs his own institute for sports and athletics in Dehradun. The name of the facility is Jaspal Rana Institute of Education and Technology and they offer training courses and theoretical courses for athletes and people who are willing to become coaches and teachers of physical education.