Sports heroes felicitated, hold candlelight vigil against terrorism

January 15th, 2009 - 7:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Abhinav BindraKolkata, Jan 15 (IANS) India’s three sporting heroes from chess, shooting and cricket were felicitated Thursday at a colourful function where they also held a candlelight vigil against terrorism.India’s first ever Olympic individual gold medal winning shooter Abhinav Bindra, chess world champion Viswanathan Anand and former Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly were showered with gifts and citations amid rendering of patriotic songs during the programme organised by Xtra, a TV production company.

On the occasion, Bindra said just after winning the historic gold he had wondered “why it took us so long to reach there”.

“It was a great moment. It was a fulfilling experience,” he said.

However, he said a lot had to be done to bring India on the same level as countries who are much advanced in the game.

Asked how he coped mentally with the struggle to stage to comeback after his injury, Bindra said: “It was tortuous. I had a never-give-up attitude”.

It was the first ever occasion when the three sporting heroes came together on the same stage.

For Bindra, it was his maiden visit to the city. This was also Anand’s first trip to the city after the World Championship triumph in Bonn.

Ganguly said it was an honour for him to be on the same stage as Anand and Bindra.

“When you look at them, you see how they have handled themselves over the years. Anand is a genuine role model for everyone. Sports is not only about effort, but also about thought and work ethics.

“I, as also the entire Indian team, have been following Anand’s fantastic journey for years. What he has achieved is hard to emulate,” said Ganguly.

A minute’s silence was observed for the victims of November’s terror strikes in Mumbai. The programme ended with the sporting greats also as the spectators lighting candles and waving the tri-colour as a gesture of the country’s resolve to prevail over terrorism.

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