Beijing forgotten, focus now on London: Abhinav Bindra

Last Updated: Friday, December 2, 2011 - 17:51

Mumbai: Star shooter Abhinav Bindra says he has forgotten his historic gold medal at 2008 Beijing Olympics as the focus now is on next year`s London Games.

"London is a new day, I can`t transfer my past. I don`t remember the past...It is over. I want to win at the Olympics, as simple as that," said the ace rifle shooter at a discussion on his book `A shot at history` at Times Literary Festival on Friday.

"I am very hungry and desirous of winning and right now I am chasing my dreams. I try to stay in the present as that motivates me," said the Chandigarh-based champion shooter, who became the first ever Indian individual gold medalist at the Olympics in 2008.

Describing his state of mind during a contest, he said, "A lot of time when I compete in high pressure situations, my inside is like a washing machine turned on high. There is no outlet but you have to stay calm and suppress it."

"I don`t have the luxury to engage in these thoughts. You have to find courage and guts to stay calm. You cannot succumb to the situation that you are in the Olympic final one shot away from gold medal," said the 29-year-old shooter.

"When I am charged up, I don`t win matches. When I lost, I never felt tired and when I won a few times, I couldn`t move for months. It used to take me few months to recover from that experience," he said.

Bindra said during his golden run in Beijing, the memory of the loss at Athens Games did appear in his mind, but he ignored the negative thoughts and concentrated hard to create history.

In the 2004 Games, Bindra had gone into the finals with a score of 597 out of 600 and was third. But in the final he shot his worst series of the day and finished seventh.

The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awardee, who fetched the country its first gold in 2008 after the men`s hockey squad`s triumph at the Moscow Games, said there is no such thing as a comfort zone for the athletes.

"There is nothing called a zone. If an athlete is in good space then he or she is living in the present. The series of good shots doesn`t guarantee you a win. You have to struggle your way to victory in every circumstance," he said.

Bindra, who recently clinched the 10m air rifle title at the National Shooting Championship in Pune, described himself as "untalented" and said he has to work hard and put in his best every day.

"For an athlete it is not every four years but everyday.

He said after his feat at Beijing, he woke up to emptiness, as he had fulfilled the goal he had been striving for as a kid.

The shooting ace said what was missing in India was the lack of "foundation" to groom athletes.

"We have a lot of talent. The talent needs to be nurtured properly with the right resources, right coaching. When an athlete starts playing, it is one of the critical moments. But in India our foundation for sport is a little weak, which is the missing link."

He said there existed no rivalry with Gagan Narang, and two of them got along very well.

Bindra said writing the book gave him the opportunity to pat his own back, which he had never done.

He also said the first thing he inquired about when he called up his family after the Olympic victory was the well-being of his dogs!

PTI



First Published: Friday, December 2, 2011 - 17:51

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