For Abhinav, it’s practice as usual on olympic feat anniversary

August 11th, 2009 - 6:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Abhinav Bindra By Alkesh Sharma
Zirakpur (Punjab), Aug 11 (IANS) India’s first ever individual Olympic gold medalist Abhinav Bindra celebrated his first anniversary of the Beijing feat in an unusual way. He practiced hard at his world-class private shooting range here at his farmhouse here Tuesday.

Bindra created history August 11 last year by winning India’s first individual-category Olympic gold medal in men’s 10m air rifle at Beijing, sparking celebrations all across the country.

“I will always remember my gold medal victory and I have become even more focused on my game. As any other day, today also I am busy training strenuously at my shooting range,” Bindra told IANS.

“I have many challenges coming ahead in prestigious tournaments. My aim is to concentrate well on my game, to maintain my practice schedule and to perform consistently.”

Bindra’s sprawling farmhouse, spread over an area of 10 acres, is located in Zirakpur town in Punjab’s Mohali district, some 20 km from the state capital Chandigarh.

“In the last six months, I have undergone tough training. I also went to Germany to train under my coaches there,” said Bindra.

Bindra’s near perfect 10.8 in his final shot at the Beijing Shooting Range Hall gave the country its first Olympic gold in 28 years. The men’s hockey team emerged champions in the Moscow Olympics, 1980.

A.S. Bindra, father of Abhinav, said: “We are very happy on the first anniversary of India’s maiden individual Olympic gold. The memories are still fresh in my mind.”

“I do not have any more expectations from him (Abhinav) as already he has fulfilled all my wishes. He is the only sportsperson in the world to become an Olympic champion and a World champion simultaneously. He is a very intelligent sportsman and is clear about his goals.”

On the family’s plan to commemorate his achievement, the Bindra senior said: “We will sit together in the evening and watch the recorded CD of Abhinav’s feat to relive those glorious moments. There will be a small get-together with some very close friends at our farm but it would be a very low-key affair.”

Jagir Singh Dhillon, under whom Bindra began his training when he was 13, is quite enthusiastic about this day.

“It was certainly a historic day of my life. He (Abhinav) is immensely talented. He puts in a lot of hard work in shooting and I am sure he will win many more medals for the country in future,” said Dhillon, who has represented India in shooting at the Asian and Commonwealth Games.

He addded: “Earlier, Abhinav was very short-tempered and easily lost his cool on losing even a single point. However, gradually, he learnt to hold his nerves and came out as a good finisher. He is very punctual and dedicated to shooting.”

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