Thursday, August 14, 2008

India's First Ever Solo Olympics Gold Goes To Abhinav Bindra

India clinched its first ever individual Olympic gold medal in 108 years when Abhinav Bindra won the 10 meter air rifle event in one of the most pulsating shooting finals in the history of the world's biggest sporting extravaganza.

The historic victory for the 25-year-old pro from Chandigarh came against heavy odds as he entered the event ranked number 17 in the world and pitted against Athens Olympic champion Zhu Qinan of China and Henri Hakkinen of Finland rated much higher than him.

But Bindra proved that reputation and history counted little as he overcame a two-point deficit against Zhu and Haikkinen after the qualifying round and annexed the title.

"I sincerely hope my medal changes the face of India's Olympic sports. For me, life will go on as usual but I sincerely hope Olympic sports get a leg-up. It's not a priority back home and I hope more focus is paid to these events like shooting," he said.

Bindra's historic feat makes him India's first individual gold medallist, bettering the silver medal feat of double trap shooter Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore in Athens 2004.

India's last gold medal at an Olympics came in 1980 when the hockey team emerged triumphant in Moscow.

This is the fifth individual Olympic medal for India. Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav won the first, a bronze in wrestling at the Helsinki Games in 1952. After a long gap, Leander Paes won the tennis bronze in Atlanta Games in 1996. Then, Karnam Malleswari won a weightlifting bronze in 2000 in Sydney and Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore raised the bar, winning a silver in Athens in 2004.

No comments: