Abhinav Bindra expects country's shooters to win 'lot of medals' in Tokyo Olympics

Updated: 06 March, 2020 07:46 IST | Ashwin Ferro | Mumbai

"Even if you calculate a 50 per cent success rate that's a lot of medals," said Abhinav Bindra while speaking at the launch of Dreams of a Billion—India and the Olympic Games.

Abhinav Bindra (left), Sachin Tendulkar and Mahesh Bhupathi launch a book on Olympics at a city hotel yesterday. Pic/ Sayyed Sameer Abedi
Abhinav Bindra (left), Sachin Tendulkar and Mahesh Bhupathi launch a book on Olympics at a city hotel yesterday. Pic/ Sayyed Sameer Abedi

Shooting legend Abhinav Bindra is confident that India's shooters will return with a bagful of medals from the Tokyo Olympics.

"We are definitely going to the Games as favourites in shooting. We have 15 quota places, so that means at least 21 starts as a few shooters also participate in multiple events. And let's not forget, we have quite a few World No. 1 shooters in our ranks. So, even if you calculate a 50 per cent success rate that's a lot of medals," said Bindra while speaking at the launch of Dreams of a Billion—India and the Olympic Games, a book by Boria Majumdar and Nalin Mehta, at a city hotel on Thursday.

Young and fearless

The Indian shooting contingent is a young bunch, with at least two or three teenage shooters, and while some may view the Games as a pressure cooker situation for these young minds, Bindra felt otherwise. "I think we have to realise the fact that society in India has changed. So kids today are a different generation. There's a lot more self belief in our society. So that forms their base now and that will make a big difference. So, I don't see being young to be any kind of disadvantage. They are young and seem fearless with nothing to lose so I think that's a nice happy place to be in," said Bindra, India's first and only individual Olympic gold medal winner, in air rifle shooting at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Bindra also hailed the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) for supporting shooting and ensuring it was somehow included at the 2022 CWG.

Bindra praises NRAI

"It is important to keep the sport of shooting relevant and in that aspect, NRAI have done a great job with the CWG inclusion. Probably it [boycott threat] was a pressure tactic but with a separate shooting and archery event in India I think we have won that battle," added Bindra.

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First Published: 06 March, 2020 07:32 IST

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