Swift intervention by Ministry of External Affairs ensured shooting ace Abhinav Bindra was accompanied by his coach whose passport got stolen in Germany while the duo were travelling to Rio de Janeiro for the ISSF World Cup, a test event for the upcoming Olympics.
The tournament, starting on Friday, assumes significance as the shooters will be competing at the same venue which will host the events during Olympics and will get a feel of it.
“My gratitude to @SushmaSwaraj and @AmbGurjitSingh for intervening and working towards getting things done,” Bindra, India’s lone Olympic gold medallist, wrote on his twitter handle.
Almost all the shooters (pistol/rifle/shotgun) representing India in 2016 Rio Olympics are taking part in the event in the Brazilian city.
The star names, among others, include Gagan Narang, Jitu Rai, Heena Sidhu and Manavjit Singh Sandhu.
Bindra had earlier tweeted, “Ma'am my coach’s passport is stolen in Cologne and need assistance. We are on our way to Rio for the pre Olympics and are stuck. Need your help in order to secure a new travel document and Brazil visa to be able to compete successfully. Would be grateful if some immediate help could be provided. Thank you so much (sic)”
Swaraj then asked the Indian Embassy in Germany to look into the matter. India’s Ambassador to Germany, Gurjit Singh, ensured the matter was resolved swiftly.
The 33-year-old Bindra, who clinched a historic gold in men’s 10m air rifle at Beijing Olympics in 2008, thanked Swaraj for her gesture.
The union minister, on a lighter note, reminded the shooter that “our demand for Olympic Gold Medal stands”.