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HT NxT: ‘11000 athletes took part in Tokyo, only 300-odd won gold’ – Bindra calls Olympics ‘epitome of sporting success’

  • In wake of India’s fine show in Tokyo, the country’s first individual Olympic gold medal winner, Abhinav Bindra, in conversation with veteran sports journalist Sharda Ugra on Day 1 of Hindustan Times’ virtual HT NxT, called the Olympic Games the epitome of sporting success’.

India dished out their best Olympics performance at the Tokyo Games 2020, winning a total of 7 medals. It is their highest medal haul in a single edition of the Olympics, surpassing the six medals the contingent won at the London Games in 2012. In wake of India’s fine show in Tokyo, the country’s first individual Olympic gold medal winner, Abhinav Bindra, in conversation with veteran sports journalist Sharda Ugra on Day 1 of Hindustan Times’ virtual HT NxT, called the Olympic Games the epitome of sporting success’.

“It is the epitome of sporting success and everyone wants to be there. The tough part is that it comes once in 4 years. It’s one opportunity in 4 years. We often talk about Olympics pressure and it is absolutely real. 11,000 Athletes took part in Tokyo but only 300-odd won a gold medal. That’s how difficult it is,” Bindra said.

Also Read | HT NxT 2021 Day 1 Highlights: ‘Olympics has lessons on wins but also on accepting failure’: Abhinav Bindra

Most are aware of Bindra as the man who broke India’s wait of winning an individual gold medal when he stood at the top of the podium at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, finishing first in the men’s 10-meter air rifle event. In the finals, he started with a shot of 10.7. Tied going into his final shot, Bindra scored a 10.8 to emerge above all. But not many are aware that the success in Beijing Games is linked to his disappointing show four years ago at Athens. 

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Entering the finals of the 10-meter air rifle event, Bindra was one of the favourites to take gold but had a meltdown, as he only shot 8s to finish 7th. Recalling his performance all those years ago, Bindra called it the lowest point of his career.

“When I was at my lowest, I had believers. People around me continued to believe in me. 2004 in Athens, I finished 7th in the final. 5 minutes later, I met my mother and she told me that I will win gold in 4 years’ time,” Bindra added.

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