Abhinav Bindra: Delhi Half Marathon an important step towards resuming sports in India

Former World and Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra was pleased with the prospect of the elite athletes running the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon on Sunday.

Former India shooter Abhinav Bindra at the meet-and-greet session of Airtel Delhi Half Marathon in New Delhi on Friday.   -  SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

Former World and Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra was pleased with the prospect of the elite athletes running the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon on Sunday, and putting Indian sports back on the rails.

"The ADHM is a very significant moment for Indian sports, since the pandemic started. Our athletes have resumed training but we have to get them in the competitive space. This is a very important step towards resuming competitive sports in India, and a benchmark for other sports," said Bindra, the brand ambassador for the event.

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Despite having been a rifle shooter, Bindra said that he had to do quite a bit of running as part of his physical training.

"I picked up shooting because I thought I didn’t have to move. However, to succeed in shooting, I had to run quite a bit. Running was a very important part of my training," Bindra said.

Some of the elite Indian runners like Avinash Sable, Srinu Bugatha, Abhishek Pal, Pradeep Singh, Parul Chaudhary, Chinta Yadav and Sanjivani Jadhav will be competing on Sunday, along with some of the best in the world. The rest of the participants across the globe will join through a mobile app.

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"This era forces us to embrace technology and innovate more. To survive a challenging situation, we have to adapt to the situation," said Bindra, about the amateurs running in remote locations.

"We need to get back to competition and find out how much we have improved. Endurance is required for both steeplechase and marathon’’, said the national steeplechase record holder, Avinash Sable.

"It always feels great with spectators. This time, the event will be different due to the situation," conceded defending champion of the Indian section, Srinu Bugatha.

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"I have to do a bit more this year to bag the first position, as I had finished second in the last two years. I have practised harder," said Parul Chaudhary.

Even though she had finished third last year, Chinata Yadav was happy with her improved time. "I have prepared well and will perform better," said Chinta.

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