There was a feeling of emptiness after I won gold: Bindra

August 14th, 2008 - 6:40 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Abhinav Bindra

New Delhi, Aug 14 (IANS) India’s first individual Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra felt emptiness within after firing the last shot that created history. Abhinav, who returned to India to a rousing welcome, said he strove hard to give his best in Olympics and when he won the gold there was a feeling of hollowness.

“It was a feeling of emptiness after I won the gold medal,” a reticent Bindra answered a packed press conference about how he felt at that moment.

“When you work so hard to achieve something and when you get that, there is a feeling of emptiness. If you are aiming to climb the mountain and when you finally reach the top, there is a feeling that you finally achieved what you set out to do.

“I had worked hard to achieve it and I am happy that I realised it. But then life goes on,” Bindra said.

“I was very upset after Athens where I had a very good chance. And then I had this injury. It took me quite some time to figure out what I want do do. It took a lot of courage, and determination for me to stand up again. It was certainly a bigger achievement than the gold medal. Winning or losing is part of the game,” Bindra said, giving a glimpse of his mind.

Bindra, who was laid low with a back problem and could not lift his gun for almost a year, hoped his path-breaking effort will inspire others sportspersons to win more glory for India.

“I hope that it will bring a positive change in Indian sports. It will change the management and mindset of Indian sport. My medal is dedicated to all my fellow athletes so that they can achieve more laurels for my country with hope and determination,” Bindra said.

Asked how he felt standing at the podium with the national anthem playing in the background, Bindra said: “why did not we get this (gold medal) before.”

Bindra, who had a busy day meeting top dignitaries including President Prathiba Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, said he was “overwhelmed” by the response that he has been getting since landing in the wee hours Thursday.

“I never expected it (the reception). I am deeply honoured and it feels great,” he said.

Going into the complexities of his sport, Bindra said that it was mentally very draining.

“Shooting requires a lot of mental stamina. It is very challenging. Now I need a break for a little while.

Bindra also thanked his mental trainer Amit Bhattacharya and his coaches including Col J S Dhillon for the efforts they had put in.

Asked about the shooters who are not performing that well in Beijing, Bindra said they are all capable of winning the laurels for the country.

“Everybody goes there to win. They have all performed well and everyone has the capability to win medals.”

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