Having announced his retirement from professional shooting on the eve of his 10m Air Rifle event at Asiad, India's only individual Olympic gold medallist says he will train as a 'hobby shooter' till 2016 Rio Games
For someone who has always seemed to be shy of the limelight and been economical with words, Abhinav Bindra has quite appropriately taken to the 'World of 140 characters' — aka Twitter, at least to announce some landmark moments in his glittering career.
Abhinav Bindra. Pic/Getty Images
For someone who prefers to stay out of the arc lights and focus on his sport/hobby/ profession — shooting — he has however not shied from speaking his mind on the state of the sport in India.
For the second time in two months, Bindra chose his Twitter handle to inform all those who 'follow' him about his immediate future. Yesterday Bindra tweeted: “Tomorrow will mark the end of my professional shooting life ! I will however still shoot , compete as a hobby shooter training twice a week.”
That immediately sent the India media covering the Asian Games here into a tizzy. For today is his event, the 10m Air Rifle, in which he won the Olympic gold in 2008. Yet at the same time, his Twitter handle continues to carry the status: “2016 Olympic medal wannabe”. So, was this complete retirement or merely a 'goodbye' to Asian Games.
Two minutes later another tweet followed: “And yes I will still try to be at rio and my bio is now most appropriate ! Great times and am sure there will be a few more !”
So, Bindra will be a hobby shooter training twice a week with aspirations of getting to Rio and of course gunning for a medal!
A little over a month ago, Bindra chose to inform his 'followers' that the Glasgow Games would be his last CWG. His three tweets on July 24 then read:
* Tom I will compete in my 5 th cwg. This will be my last appearance at the games Hope to have some fun.
* Been a great journey which started as 15 year old at the kl games & have 8 cwg medals so far.
* So friends pray and wish me some luck :-).
The next day he shot his way to his first-ever individual gold medal. Clearly, Bindra revels in putting himself under some kind of pressure and then delivers.
It was his best shot of the day that delivered him the gold in Beijing Olympics; and it was post the 'tweet' that he won the CWG gold at Glasgow. Now can he complete a hat-trick at the Asian Games, as he gets ready for the 10m Air Rifle?
Gold: 2008 Beijing (10m Air Rifle individual)
Gold: 2006 Zagreb (10m Air Rifle individual)
Gold: 2002 Manchester (10m Air Rifle pairs)
Silver: 2002 Manchester (10m Air Rifle individual)
Gold: 2006 Melbourne (10m Air Rifle pairs)
Bronze: 2006 Melbourne (10m Air Rifle individual)
Gold: 2010 New Delhi (10m Air Rifle pairs)
Silver: 2010 New Delhi (10m Air Rifle individual)
Gold: 2014 Glasgow (10m Air Rifle individual)
Silver: 2010 Guangzhou (10m Air Rifle team)