iconimg Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Saurabh Duggal, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, October 13, 2011
Three years after he took careful aim to gave India its first-ever individual gold in 112 years of Olympic history, Abhinav Bindra has finished tracing his "obsessive journey" that culminated in that historic moment at the Beijing Olympics. The ace shooter has penned down his life's journey from a normal kid to be the best among the best, in his book A Shot At History: My Obsessive Journey to Olympic Gold, co-authored by journalist and sports writer Rohit Brijnath.

The book, which took two years to complete, is divided into 21 chapters, starting with the disappointment of the 2004 Athens Olympics and goes on to describe, moment by moment, the path to Olympic glory in 2008. So we learn about the champion's sleepless night on the eve of his medal-winning triumph, and a training regime that would make him wake up at 3am to practice at his shooting range at home to try out an idea that had suddenly struck.

The 260-page book, which is published by HarperCollins and includes a 16-page photo feature, will hit bookstores across the country on October 20. The formal launch is on October 27 in New Delhi. Later on, it will be launched in Bangalore, Mumbai and Chandigarh.

Bindra, a resident of Zirakpur in Punjab, also takes a dig at India's sports officials, saying that many of them have little expertise in the field.

Crediting his mother for believing that one day the Olympic gold would be his, Bindra writes: "The foundation of my confidence came from my parents. I believed because they believed in me. After the Athens final, with my world collapsing, my mother, Babli, came to me and said: 'The best you could have done anyway was silver, but that's not your goal. Your destiny is to win a gold.'"

The Olympic champion also acknowledges the contribution of individuals who contributed to his success in various stages of his life - including his mental trainer Amit Bhattacharjee. 

As a 13-year-old, he requested Col Dhillon, his first coach, to train him.

And special gratitude is reserved for his father, AS Bindra. "He would be knee-deep in business deals, confronted by problems, but shooting was never dismissed," Bindra says of his father.