On This Day: Abhinav Bindra ends India's wait for an individual Olympic gold with historic medal in Beijing

Bindra had spoken about his relationship with the medal. He told how the medal is just a reminder of the panic and anxiety that he went through to achieve it.

FP Sports August 11, 2021 12:15:45 IST
On This Day: Abhinav Bindra ends India's wait for an individual Olympic gold with historic medal in Beijing

File image of Abhinav Bindra. Reuters

On 11 August, 2008, Abhinav Bindra created history by winning the first individual Olympic gold for India at the Beijing Olympics.

The 10 metre air rifle shooter had shown great control and perseverance when he shot a 10.8 on his last shot. Before this shot, he was tied with Finland's Henri Hakkinen. Anything less than his score could have cost him the win.

"I ended up shooting the best 10 shots in my life," recalled Bindra while speaking about his Beijing Olympics haul.

Having started his international career at the age of 15 when he participated in the Commonwealth Games in 1998, Bindra had become the youngest Indian athlete at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. When he was at his peak in 2004, Bindra set a new Olympic record during the qualification round in Athens. However, he failed to bring a medal.

It was in the 2008 event that Bindra got a chance to clinch not only a podium spot but also the gold.

However, the shooter failed to qualify to the final round in the following London Olympic Games. At the Rio Olympics, Bindra agonisingly finished fourth.

On multiple occasions, Bindra had spoken about his relationship with the medal. He told how the medal is just a reminder of the panic and anxiety that he went through to achieve it.

"The medal only reminds me of the pain and anxiety. And as for my medal-winning videos, I only watch them when I am at some event and the organisers play it on the big screen," Bindra said during a session at the GoSports Foundation Athlete Conclave 2017.

On 7 August 2021, Neeraj Chopra clinched gold in javelin throw at the Tokyo 2020 Games, India's first medal in track and field events at the Olympics. Chopra and Bindra are India's only two individual gold-medallist at the Olympic Games.

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