New Delhi: Giving a lowdown on how India performed at the recently concluded Rio Games 2016, shooting legend Abhinav Bindra said it needs seven to eight years to produce an Olympic champion.
Bindra, who came close to winning a medal at Rio, in his column in Hindustan Times wrote that "There are many things that go into achieving success in Olympics. One of the most important is the quality of training. We can’t cut corners there."
The 33-year-old, however, feels that India's Rio campaign wasn't that bad, and an early medal could have changed the mood and also the overall result. India returned with two medals, a bronze and a silver.
India had to wait for 13 days into the competition for the first medal. Sakshi Malik won a unlikely bronze medal in women's 58kg freestyle wrestling category, making a comeback in the final seconds to win 8-5, on August 18.
Then, towards fag end of the Games, PV Sindhu won silver medal in women's singles badminton competition.
Bindra stated the fact that India had sent 118 athletes, country's largest ever Olympic contingent, and added that that didn't just happened by chance.
"It’s not that you get an air ticket to Rio and compete there. You have to be at a world level to get there. We must acknowledge that we have made an improvement. Having reached that level itself is an achievement," he wrote.
But he's expectedly disappointed, and said that India should start working for 2024 games already because, "producing an Olympic champion requires seven-eight years. And we have to nurture and support talent for a sustained period — from the grassroots, one step at a time, to the top."
And to achieve that India need a holistic approach.
"That requires time, experts from various fields, which is not just about performance in skill, it is about physical preparation, mental preparation, recovery, planning the athlete’s programme… Everything requires experts, it has to be holistic," he added.