New Delhi: Abhinav Bindra, India`s only individual Olympic gold medallist, has said that his struggle to book a quota place for next year`s London Olympics was actually a blessing.
Bindra qualified for London Olympics in the ISSF Munich Shooting World Cup, which was his last chance to do so in the 10m air rifle event.
Bindra shot a qualification score of 596 points, which tied him with eight others but the Indian eventually made it to the finals with 52.6 points in the shoot-off.
"It`s good that I struggled. Had I booked a place last year and relaxed, I would not have known the reality. Now I know how tough it would be (to win a medal)," Bindra said on Wednesday.
"Olympics is a special place. Now I am close to reality and can prepare (accordingly)," the Beijing Olympics gold medallist said.
Bindra said it is not easy to qualify for the Olympics in shooting.
"It`s hard job to qualify, to win a quota place. There are a lot of good shooters. The scores are competitive."
He replied in the negative when asked if he felt the pressure of being an Olympic gold medallist while competing in the qualifying events.
"That was one-and-a-half year back. Pressure was there. I had different strategy in terms of preparation to shoot to that level," Bindra told a news channel.
Bindra admitted that he felt the heat as his qualification got delayed.
"I had my back on the wall but I have always done well in those circumstances."