New Delhi: Beijing Games gold medallist shooter Abhinav Bindra on Tuesday urged corporate houses to play a bigger role in the progress of Olympics sports in India and said the disciplines should be "supported as a part of CSR activities".
"I would be happy if more support is offered but all organisations have their limitations. It will be great to see more corporate support coming in for Olympic sports in general. It would be great to see Olympic sports being supported as part of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) activities," Bindra, the only Indian to win an individual gold at the Olympic Games, said on the sidelines of an event.
Bindra is impressed with the progress of shooting sport in the country.
"Growth of Indian shooting has been tremendous, talent pool and results are incredible. We have a good bench strength of shooters now. The nationals and trials were highly competitive."
Asked about the government's top scheme, he said, "Top scheme is a proactive step. Earlier the athletes had to apply well in advance but now it's a proactive sort of a situation where the government is going out to the athletes and offering them support."
Bindra said he is focused on keeping his Rio Olympics quota.
"I train quite a lot and will continue to try and give my best. I train with my own set of coaches. One has to work hard towards securing one's own slot. The current focus is to do well in all the Olympic qualifying competitions. Focus is to try and retain my quota," he said.
London Olympic silver medallist Gagan Narang said he was hoping to peak at the right time.
"I look forward to peak at the right time. I had the option of surgery (to control his weight) but that was not a sure-shot solution so I chose against surgery and went for rehab, it's getting better."
Talking about participation in tournaments, Narang said,
"Preparations are necessary but competition experience is also very important. Last year my focus was on 10m air rifle, this time I am more focused on prone and 3 position because of the neck injury and that was a blessing in disguise."
He added, "There is always room for improvement. Due to my injury I couldn't take part in the trials. Looking forward to shoot in prone and 3 position and also try to get better in 10m air rifle."
Asked about the improvements in Indian shooting, he said, "We have come a long way, the contribution of the federation has been immense though much needs to be done in terms of licensing. We are on the right track, emergence of new shooters show the progress of the sport."
'Pistol King' Jitu Rai, who had won an unprecedented seven medals last year, is aiming for gold in Rio.
"Preparation is good but lot more needed to be done. I will have to get better. I had undergone mental training preparation in Dallas under a three-time Olympic medallist. Gold is there in my thoughts and I am targeting that," Jitu said.