‘He has achieved, whatever he dreamt long back’
It was on July 13, 1995 that 13-year-old Abhinav came to me for his first lessons. I could see the spark in the boy’s eyes...he used to practice for around seven to eight hours a day, recollects Lt Col JS Dhillon.Updated: Aug 12, 2008 23:22 IST
Far away from the spotlight, Lt Col JS Dhillon (retd) is also celebrating Abhinav Bindra’s success, quietly. After all, the veteran shooter is the one who initiated the Olympic hero into shooting some 13 years back and gave him early lessons.
“It was on July 13, 1995 that 13-year-old Abhinav came to me for his first lessons. I could see the spark in the boy’s eyes...he used to practice for around seven to eight hours a day and would never miss any practice session,” said Dhillon.
“He is, no doubt, a hard working boy, but the best part about him is his ability to practice methodically and analyse each of his shots. It’s the combination of the two traits that has earned him the gold in Beijing,” said Dhillon.
But more than the success, it’s his humbleness that has floored Dhillon. “Abhinav always sends me postcards before a big event. He sent me one from Athens in 2004 and another one from the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games,” said Dhillon.
“When I saw him going for the final shot today, I saw plain determination in his eyes...I am happy he has made me proud. Abhinav is not only a remarkable shooter but also a through gentleman. I have never seen such a dedicated shooter in my entire life.”
Abhinav’s parents also thanked Col Dhillon for his initial guidance. “He is like a grandfather to Abhinav and he has a great contribution in his success story. I still remember the time when Abhinav used to get irritated because of ‘dip’ in scores and Dhillon used to calm him down and motivated him to go for the perfect shots,” said Abhinav’s mother Babli Bindra.
“I always told him one thing: ‘Whatever idea you can conceive and your heart can believe, you can achieve it’. And, today, he’s achieved whatever he had conceived years back,” said Dhillon.
Dhillon’s affection for his ward can be gauged from the fact that he has still kept all his records intact.
“In October, 1999 during the trials for the SAFF Games, Abhinav scored 593…but at the Games he shot just 586.
At the Oceanic Championships in Australia in November 1999, he scored 588 and was placed sixth.
“And during the 2000 Asian Championships in Malaysia in July, he shot down the bronze with a score of 694.8… You ask me about any event and I have his results and the score.”
Can you beat that?
That, simply put, is mutual admiration at its best.