Abhinav Bindra, the country's lone individual Olympic champion, turned 28 on Tuesday. But instead of celebrating, the Beijing Olympic Games gold-medallist chose to observe the day differently — by following his training schedule at the Karni Singh Shooting Ranges.
Bindra, who will be participating in the 10m air rifle individual and team event, said, “My priority is the Commonwealth Games and I am only thinking about my events.”
The ace India shooter added, “Birthday celebrations can wait. This day comes every year, so it's a normal day for me. The Games come after every four years and like any other sportsman I am waiting for the D-Day.”
The celebrations have been put in abeyance but only till October 5, the day when Bindra's events get over.
Making a mark in front of the home crowd lists high among Bindra's priorities.
“Being the hosts, it our duty not to disappoint the home crowd. I have been preparing for the Games for the past one year and now is the time to give my best,” said the marksman, who will be competing in his fourth Commonwealth Games.
Bindra had checked into the Games Village on Monday and will be sharing his room with seasoned trap shooter Mansher Singh.
But immediately after the check-in, he had to move out as he needed to deposit his arms at the Range. Bindra will formally move in on Wednesday.
About his preparations, he said, “My training is on the right track and I even attended a coaching camp in Pune, which was very effective.
“Before Pune, I had a training stint with my foreign coaches at my home range (in Zirakpur, Punjab).”
“I have an Olympics and a World Championship gold but am still to add an individual Commonwealth Games gold. The aim is to win gold here in front of the home crowd. And I am hoping I'll achieve the target,” he added.