“My name is Abhinav Bindra. I come from Chandigarh and I am an Olympic gold-medallist.” Humble words to introduce oneself, but Bindra, the 2008 Beijing Olympic gold-medallist, is an athlete who has always floored everyone with his unassuming ways.
Here in Delhi to mark the countdown to the 2012 London Olympic Games at an event organised in the Capital, the champion 10m air rifle shooter said, winning a medal at the Olympics “was a lottery”.
No one knows it better. Despite pressing the trigger a whopping 17 million times — he has been hitting bull’s-eye 300 times a day over the last 15 years — if the champion is unsure about retaining his title at London, it's because just 1mm separates a winner from the 20th placed contestant.
Bindra was being modest when he said he was not a born athlete but had worked hard to achieve his goal. “I wasn’t particularly a talented athlete, but had the work ethics,” he said, soon after the clock struck 3.54.01 GMT to signal the yearlong countdown to the Games.
Moments before whizzing away in his BMW, the bespectacled marksman, dressed in an off-white suit for the occasion, said, “Olympics is the greatest ticket on earth.”
Bindra has already earned that ticket by qualifying for the Games. What now remains is a performance that would assure the country another gold from the man who shoots with a Walther rifle and is a Bond in his own right.