India will complete 75 years of Independence this year. Here is a series acknowledging 75 great sporting achievements by Indian athletes. Sportstar will present one iconic sporting achievement each day, leading up to August 15, 2022.
August 11, 2008: Abhinav Bindra wins India’s first individual Olympics gold medal at Beijing
It was the unquenchable desire to excel, a systematic approach and the military discipline that fired Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore to the silver medal in the 2004 Athens Olympics.
With the nation having gained the confidence of reaching the Olympic podium after the bronze by tennis ace Leander Paes (Atlanta, 1996) and weightlifter Karnam Malleswari (Sydney, 2000), Rathore helped India take a bigger leap of faith with his prowess in double trap.
An unstable wooden flooring had robbed air rifle shooter Abhinav Bindra of a medal in Athens. Rathore had said then that Abhinav would be a World champion one day. Abhinav, who became a World champion in 2006 in Zagreb, beat defending champion Zhu Qinan in his backyard for the gold in the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
Turning adversity to success
The Athens experience had helped Abhinav to be detached about the result, and prepare to be the best. A misaligned rifle before the final could have shaken the hardest of competitors, but Abhinav tuned it in no time to deliver 10 best shots that helped him overcome a two-point deficit before the final!