Bindra — spreading goodwill in the quest for another gold

Through a fabulous passage of time, after experiencing both the highs and the lows, shooting ace Abhinav Bindra is quite composed, focussing on the process, leaving the rest to destiny.

Abhinav Bindra... trying to make his last visit count.   -  SANDEEP SAXENA

Bindra... a role model for sportsmen.   -  A. M. FARUQUI

World and Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra has still some unfinished business in the world of shooting, as he gears up to make a final bow in his fifth Olympics in Rio.

If achieving his ambition of winning the Olympic gold in Beijing in 2008 showed his capacity to master the sport and overcome an overwhelming negativity in the nation, the passage thereafter has revealed his strong character to bear the pain and attempt to put everything together once again.

The World Championship gold in Zagreb in 2006 was a mere dress rehearsal to the panache he showed in Beijing two years later.

From the numerous interviews that he gave before leaving home for the final preparation in Germany, the 33-year-old Bindra has been clear that he was more for supporting sports rather than aim to achieve further personal glory. That does not mean that he would not be at his best in Rio.

On the contrary, he has prepared the best.

“I have put in my best efforts for the last year in a holistic way, looking at all aspects of performance,” said Bindra, when contacted in Germany, as he went through stringent training, aimed towards leaving nothing to chance.





He has been building up for the climax by winning his maiden Commonwealth Games individual gold and the maiden individual Asian Games medal in 2014. At every step, he has been saying good bye. Was he not putting pressure on himself by saying that this was his last Olympics and the last shooting venture.

“Not really. The reality and truth is that these are my last Games. So, have just stated the facts,” said Bindra, nonchalantly.

The physical trouble could have broken down a lesser mortal, but Bindra opted to endure everything for the last fling. For, nobody has so far been able to follow in his footsteps and win an individual Olympic gold.

“I could have so easily given up. I have fought through hopeless situations,” said Bindra, asserting that he was once again on a mission to help the nation take another leap of glory on the world’s finest stage for sports.

The debacle in Athens in 2004, not of his own making, but a structural fault of the wooden floor that spoilt his final when he was shooting at his best, may have completely detached him from the results, helping him focus on the process. But, Bindra pointed out that he was only human.

“While performing, I would like to be immersed in the process of executing my task. The focus on outcome just saps energy. Yet, those thoughts are bound to come. I have to respect and accept them and work through situations,” said the champion shooter.

Apart from being focussed on his own preparation and performance, Bindra has been inspiring the rest through a motivational letter as the Goodwill Ambassador of the Indian contingent.

“Honestly, I have not done enough as I have been totally focussed on my performance. Given the situation I am in, I have tried to balance out the issue,” he said.

From Sydney in 2000, when as a baby in shooting Bindra missed the final by one point following a score of 590 out of 600, he has witnessed a sea change in the attitude of the Indian athletes. He is happy to have set the bar high and is thrilled to see everyone believing in their ability to go for the moon.

“They all aspire to win a gold medal,” he said, as a matter of fact!

Do people understand sports a lot better now?

“Yes, things have improved for sure,” said Bindra, appreciating the best of support for sportspersons from various quarters, owing to the heightened levels of understanding as to what goes into generating champions.

Through a fabulous passage of time, after experiencing both the highs and the lows, Bindra is quite composed, focussing on the process, leaving the rest to destiny.

“It is my choice to go and compete in the Olympic Games. It is my choice to fight through challenges. It is my choice to suffer. I do the same with feelings of gratitude, respect and acceptance,” is his philosophy, as he ventures into a familiar domain for one last time.

It will be a privilege to watch him challenge the best in the world, in yet another attempt to put the tricolour on top, and let the vibrant national anthem echo around the world.