Abhinav Bindra had "realised the dream" of a billion Indians by winning the 10 metre air rifle event at the Beijing Olympics, President Pratibha Patil said on Monday as she congratulated the Chandigarh sportsman who got India its first individual gold medal.
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee were amongst the others who joined the nation in commending Bindra for his achievement.
"I am extremely delighted and proud to hear today that you have realised the dream of a billion of our people by winning the Olympic gold medal in the 10-metre air rifle event in Beijing," Patil said in a message to Bindra.
"Your achievement today should inspire confidence amongst all Indian sportspersons that they can achieve the pinnacle of any sport at the international level. It should also be an inspiration for more of our youth to take up sports as a full time career," the president said.
Bindra, who shot his way into posterity Monday, won by scoring 700.5 points, 596 in the qualifier and 104.5 in the final to claim the gold.
"Your achievement is even greater as not only has India won a gold medal at the Olympic Games after a very long gap of 28 years, but also because you have become the first ever Indian to win a gold medal at the Olympics in an individual event," Patil said.