Youngsters coming through the ranks is a good sign, says Abhinav Bindra

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Youngsters coming through the ranks is a good sign, says Abhinav Bindra

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SportsCafe Desk

12/14/2018

Shooter Abhinav Bindra has stated that India is quite fortunate in the sense that young kids are taking up shooting day-in and day-out which, he says, is a positive sign for the country. Bindra is a lone athlete from India to have won an individual gold medal in any sport at the Summer Olympic.

Back in the year 2008, Abhinav Bindra rose to the fame with his 10 meters air rifle gold medal which he bagged at the Beijing Olympics. Enroute that medal Bindra also became the first ever individual gold medallist from India at any summer Olympics. Now Bindra has stated that India is pretty developed in shooting and also gave examples as to why he believes so.

"In shooting, we (India) are pretty developed. There were 27 medals in the World Championship in which we did fantastically well. We just need to keep our heads focused and continue that process," Bindra told reporters on Thursday.

"We seem to be quite fortunate because we have a string of young shooting athletes, coming through day-in and day-out, and I think that's a very positive sign for the long-term development of shooting," the 36-year-old shooter said.

Before Bindra, though India had individual medallists like Leander Paes in Tennis, Karnam Malleswari in weightlifting and Rajwardhan Singh Rathore in the double trap shooting, the country lacked an individual gold medal which the shooter fulfilled. Bindra said that there is a difference in the attitude of today's player and that of a player in his days.

"The mindset is different. The young athletes of today are mentally much more aspirational and they have much more exposure and I think they want to go out and win. In my times, I had a defensive attitude, my generation had a defensive attitude which has changed significantly now," he remarked.

Bindra also asserted that as a sport, shooting is different in that even young and inexperienced players can win medals and the experienced ones are not left behind too. He added that being young also has its advantages like focusing solely on the sport without any distractions.

"Shooting is an interesting sport because you can have people inexperienced at competitive level winning Olympic gold medals (like) in the past. And you have highly-experienced people also winning it, so it's a highly open field. I won't say that their inexperience is of any disadvantage to them, (on the contrary) to my mind it can be an advantage."

"When you are young you are able to just focus on sports by cutting down the distractions. You just got out there and don't know what to expect and focus on what you are supposed to do and at times it can help," he added.

Apart from winning a medal at the Olympic Games, Bindra has also won multiple gold medals at multiple World Championships and Commonwealth Games in both the singles and doubles category. On a personal front, Bindra stated that the passion and single-minded focus he had while playing the sport cannot be brought by him for anything else.

"I'll never be able to find that sort of obsession or a single-minded focus that I had for 22-years (in shooting) and I'm in peace with that. I enjoy what I am doing now and there are various aspects. "I have a business to run. I run a foundation. I'm helping athletes. I am in the IOC Athletes Commission and that takes a lot of my time. So I have a wide spectrum of things that I am working on that keeps me busy," he signed off.

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