Sports minister, IOA chief laud Abhinav Bindra

August 11th, 2008 - 2:49 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Abhinav Bindra

Beijing/New Delhi, Aug 11 (IANS) India’s Sports Minister M.S. Gill and Indian Olympic Association (IOA) chief Suresh Kalmadi joined many others in lauding Abhinav Bindra’s achievement, after the 24-year-old shooter bagged India’s first individual gold in the Olympics. Gill saw it as a breakthrough achievement for Indian sport. “It’s a huge incentive for us to further go up the ladder in sports.

“We have done well in shooting earlier. We have had world champions. But the Olympics gold is always special. I congratulate Bindra,” Gill said.

“I find it difficult to express my feelings. Bindra was one of our medal hopes. It’s great that he has fulfilled our expectations,” said a highly emotional Gill.

Kalmadi said it was a great day in the country’s history. “We are proud of his achievement.”

National Rifle Association of India president Digvijay Singh said: “I still can’t believe that we have again got a place on the top podium.

“The way the shooters have been bringing laurels for the country, this discipline is becoming the number one sport in India. Bindra’s golden showing will give it a boost.”

National shooting coach Sunny Thomas praised Bindra for his devotion to the sport as well as his determination.

“We’re all very happy. He is very hardworking. The entire shooting contingent is celebrating. We are very proud of him and it is just the beginning,” said Thomas, as the Indian officials hugged one another at the shooting range in celebration.

Praising Bindra, Thomas said the shooter has always been known for his composure.

“Abhinav is a very calm and composed guy and doesn’t get very excited,” he said.

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