Abhinav Bindra clinched the World Champioship gold, the first ever for the country in shooting, with a spectacular performance in the air rifle final on Monday.
The 23-year-old Delhi lad, a two-time Olympian, went into the final a joint leader with two others at 597, and shot a 102.1 in a nerve-wracking climax to emerge top from a strong field of 122 shooters from nearly 100 countries.
"He needed a 10.4 with his last shot to ensure the gold and he shot a 10.7. It was simply wonderful. To win the Olympic quota place with a World championship gold is fantastic. He has worked hard for it, and fought brilliantly today,'' said National coach Prof. Sunny Thomas.
"I have worked hard for this. It was my day. I have always believed that I could do this and am happy to have done it. I have been in the sport for ten years, and I know that the difference between winning and losing is not much. I didn't do anything very different today,'' said Abhinav, who has been battling with a career-threatening back problem in recent months.
"He was the World junior record holder and now he is the World champion. He is not competing in prone or the 3-position events. He will be consulting doctors in Germany on 27th to decide whether he would need a surgery to solve the back problem. It has been a courageous performance from him considering his physical condition,'' said Prof. Thomas.
For all his precious talent and phenomenal focus on the sport, Abhinav had nothing much to show except for two bronze medals in the World Cups in Germany that he captured in 2001 and 2003. He looked ready to set the record straight in the Athens Olympics when he made the final with a similar 597, but was unlucky not to finish among the medals then, despite shooting close to his best.
Abhinav had shot a miserably 97.6 in the final then. If anything, the bad memories did not dare plague him this time as he shot a spectacular series of 10.3, 10.3, 10.3, 10.0, 10.6, 9.3, 10.9, 9.2, 10.5 and 10.7 to win the gold with a 0.8 point margin.
There have only been two other instances of Indian shooters winning a World championship medal. Dr. Karni Singh had won the trap silver in a World championship in 1962 in Cairo and Lt. Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore had bagged the bronze in the shotgun World Championship in Cyprus in 2003.
ABOUT ABHINAV BINDRA
Abhinav Bindra (born September 28, 1982) is an Indian shooting sports person and businessman. He is the CEO of Abhinav Futuristics. As a shooter, he specialises in the field of Air rifle. In August 2008, he became the first Indian to win an individual gold medal at the Olympic Games.
Abhinav Bindra was the youngest Indian participant at the 2000 Olympic Games. He won six gold medals at various international meets in 2001. In the Air rifle event at the 2002 Commonwealth Games, Manchester, he won Gold in the Pairs event and Silver in the individual event. At the 2004 Olympic Games, he broke the Olympic record but failed to win a medal. He is a recipient of the Arjuna award in 2001 and the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award for the year 2001-2002. Abhinav Bindra's potential talent was first spotted by Lt. Col. J.S. Dhillon. He was Bindra's first coach. Apart from being a shooter, Abhinav Bindra holds an M.B.A. (Masters in Business Administration). He is also the CEO of Abhinav Futuristics.
At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Abhinav Bindra won the gold for the Men's 10m Air Rifle final after shooting a total of 700.5, thus becoming the first Indian individual gold medallist at the Olympics. He scored 596 (fourth) in the qualifying round and out-scored all other shooters in the finals with a round of 104.5.
Here's the link to Abhinav Bindra's BLOG