'Abhinav will inspire future gold medallists'
Abhinav Bindra's shooting gold will make him an icon for the young generation and would be a shot in the arm for Olympic sports in the country.Updated: Aug 11, 2008 13:14 IST
Abhinav Bindra's shooting gold will make him an icon for the young generation and would be a shot in the arm for Olympic sports in the country, according to Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President Suresh Kalmadi.
"It's a great day in the history of Indian sports. Finally, we got an individual gold last time we saw a gold was when the Indian hockey team won it in 1980. Youth in the country got a new icon in him and hope they are drawn more into Olympic sports." Kalmadi told PTI.
"Cricket rules the roost in India but now the youngster have a role model who plays some other sport. It augurs well for us," he said.
"It was a proud moment for all of us here and back home. To see the Indian flag being raised and the national anthem being played made us feel proud of our country. It's an unforgettable moment," he added.
Kalmadi also took the opportunity to thank Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for allotting Rs 70 crore for the preparation of the athletes for the 2010 Commonwealth Games scheduled in Delhi.
"I thank the Prime Minister for allotting the money. We now would have annually 310 days of proper practice including stint abroad for our athletes. This is a step forward and I hope we would have more athletes who would emulate Bindra," Kalmadi added.
Bindra pipped the likes of reigning Olympic champion Qinan Zhu to grab the gold medal in the 10m air rifle event on Monday.