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Abhinav Bindra wins India’s first ever solo Olympic gold

Posted on: August 12, 2008

India clinched its first ever individual Olympic gold medal in 108 years when Abhinav Bindra won the 10 meter air rifle event in one of the most pulsating shooting finals in the history of the world’s biggest sporting extravaganza.

The historic victory for the 25-year-old pro from Chandigarh came against heavy odds as he entered the event ranked number 17 in the world and pitted against Athens Olympic champion Zhu Qinan of China and Henri Hakkinen of Finland rated much higher than him.

But Bindra proved that reputation and history counted little as he overcame a two-point deficit against Zhu and Haikkinen after the qualifying round and annexed the title.

Bindra emerged triumphant in the 10-shot final with a finish of 104.5, taking his tally of points to 700.5 as against Zhu’s silver winning performance of 699.7 (597+102.7) and 699.4 (598+101.4) by Hakkinen, which gave the Finn Army marksman the bronze.

His first shot of the final a 10.7 saw him move to the third place and by the time he was preparing to shoot his fourth, the Indian had risen to the second spot.

A 10.6 on his seventh attempt earned Bindra the lead and in the deciding shot he got 10.8, way ahead of 10.5 by the Chinese and 9.7 by the Finn to bring India the first ever gold medal by an individual since the country first participated in Olympics in 1900.

The businessman from Chandigarh also ended India’s wait for a gold since the hockey team fetched a yellow metal in the Moscow Olympics in 1980.

“It can’t better than this. Can it?” an elated but composed Bindra said soon after achieving the feat.

“I sincerely hope my medal changes the face of India’s Olympic sports,” the bespectacled shooter told reporters.

As Bindra bowed his head to receive the gold medal from the Princess of Lichtenstein, a small country in central Europe, and the Indian national anthem was played out for the first time in this edition of Olympics, the shooter had his feet firmly on the ground, betraying little emotions.

“For me, life will go on as usual but I sincerely hope Olympic sports get a leg-up. It’s not a priority back home and I hope more focus is paid to these events like shooting,” he said.

Asked about his scorching run in the finals, Abhinav said it was a conscious plan to pull out all stops and it paid off.

“I entered the final as fourth, which means I had to go all out for it. That’s why I was so aggressive and it paid off in the end. I guess it was my day,” he said.

Bindra, whose career at one stage was jeopardised by a nagging back injury, said it was not easy to keep himself keyed up all along.

“I worked hard, left home and trained in Germany. It only proves that if you keep working hard, you would have your day someday and fortunately, it was my day today.

“My parents, family and coaches stood by me all along and I owe it to them,” he said.

Even in his hour of supreme glory, Bindra was magnanimous towards his rival when he applauded Zhu for his performance and said “he should be happy that he won a medal”.

Bindra’s compatriot Gagan Narang too almost made it to the final but was ruled out on countback. Gagan scored 595, levelled at the fifth place but lost out on a final place in countback.

Source: http://www.financialexpress.com/news/Abhinav-Bindra-wins-Indias-first-ever-solo-Olympic-gold/347366/

1 Response to "Abhinav Bindra wins India’s first ever solo Olympic gold"

Its really big achievement for India……but we also need to think why this moment had kept us waiting since 28 year?
read my blogs on prasadnaik86.blogspot.com

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