Indian shuttlers better prepared for Worlds, says Bindra

Abhinav Bindra believes Indian badminton players — even the first-timers — have the potential to face stiff competition at the World Championships in Glasgow.

Bindra, who made his Olympics debut at Sydney in 2000, before striking gold in 2008 Beijing Games, said: “They (the shuttlers) have a great coach.”   -  K. Bhagya Prakash

 

Abhinav Bindra believes Indian badminton players — even the first-timers — have the potential to face stiff competition at the World Championships in Glasgow. “Badminton players are exposed to competition and basically are better prepared than other sportspersons at a World Championship,” said Bindra, when asked about the chances of India’s young shuttlers at the tournament.

Bindra, who made his Olympics debut at Sydney in 2000, before striking gold in 2008 Beijing Games, said: “They (the shuttlers) have a great coach.”

Speaking on the sidelines of an event linked to the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018 in Queensland, Bindra stressed on the importance of CWG in an athlete’s progress. “The Commonwealth Games is the first exposure to multi-event for Indian participants, leading to bigger events like the Asian and Olympic Games,” Bindra said.

He rated Sydney 2000 as his favourite Olympics, of the five competed till 2016 Rio Games. “I enjoyed the Sydney experience due to the people. Sport is part of the culture in Australia, and its fans ,” said the 10m air rifle specialist. “Sydney gave me the feeling that one day I will win a medal.”

Eight years later, he returned with India’s first individual Olympic gold from Beijing 2008.

Replying to a query if we should give the first-time Olympic participants time to grow into world-beaters — similar to his personal experience from as debutant in Sydney 2000 to champion at Beijing 2008 — he answered in the affirmative. “It differs from sport to sport, but takes time for a performer to evolve. At any Olympic Games, many take part but only 300 go home with a medal,” Bindra said.

Tourism Australia, celebrating 50 years of promoting the nation as a tourist destination, is looking forward to welcoming Indian visitors for the CWG next year. Sport is one of the major attractions for tourists, due to the facilities for sporting activities and infrastructure built up for the Games. Leanne Coddington, CEO, Queensland Tourism, said: “With eight months to go for the opening ceremony, Queensland is ready to welcome visitors, not only to witness world-class sport, but to experience the best of our tourism offerings.”

John O'Sullivan, MD, Tourism Australia, revealed that 2,74,5000 Indians visited in the year ended May 2017, a rise of 15.3 percent than last year.

To celebrate its 50 years, special anniversary tourist packages will be offered.