On this day in 2008: Abhinav Bindra won India’s first individual Olympic gold | Shooting News

On this day in 2008: Abhinav Bindra won India's first individual Olympic gold


New Delhi: Abhinav Bindra, who still holds the record for the only individual gold medal for India in the Olympics, achieved the feat on this day (August 11) in 2008. 

Bindra’s gold came during his 2008 Beijing Olympics journey and the 10-metre air rifle shooter was seen at the top of his craft. 

The shooter hit a 10.8 in his last shot to get India its first individual gold medal.

Before this shot, he was tied with Finland`s Henri Hakkinen and if he had shot anything less than 10.8, he would not have won the gold medal.

Since Beijing, Indian contingent has gone into 2 Olympics, but haven’t been able to bag an individual gold yet.

Having started his Olympic journey in Sydney back in 2000, the 37-year-old shooter qualified in three Olympic finals including his golden journey of Beijing in 2008 (Athens being the other one) in his pet 10m air rifle, while he missed out in Sydney and London.

Bindra, India`s lone individual Olympic gold medallist, in 2017 had officially announced his retirement from shooting, saying `it is time to move on and hand over the baton to the younger generation.`

The shooter had missed a near second Olympic medal in the Rio Olympics 2016.

Tokyo Olympics were slated to go ahead this year, but it has been pushed to next year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this year, Bindra had said that India would go into the Olympics as favourites in the shooting.

“We go into the games as favourites in shooting, we will be favourites in multiple events. We have 15 quota places at the moment which will result in 21 starts as some of them shoot in multiple events, so 21 shots at a medal, and even if we achieve 50 per cent of the target, that`s a whole lot of medals,” Bindra had said.

Since September 1, 2018, which was the beginning of the qualification period for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Indian shooters have won a record 15 Olympic quota places.



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