Wishes pour in for India’s first individual Olympic gold medalist



Abhinav Bindra needs no introduction, he is the first and one of only two Indians to win an individual Olympic gold medal. More importantly, the ace marksman is also the first Indian to simultaneously hold the world and Olympic titles in the men’s 10-meter air rifle event by triumphing at the 2006 ISSF World Shooting Championships and the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

Abhinav Bindra rang his 39th birthday on Tuesday and wishes poured in for one of India’s most accomplished sportsmen on social media when he was a year older.

Abhinav Bindra’s birthday: fans send unique wishes for Olympic gold medalist

Abhinav Bindra at the Beijing Olympics

On August 11, 2008, Indian Abhinav Bindra made history after shooting 10.8 in his last shot to win gold at the Beijing Olympics. Bindra was tied with Finland’s Henri Hakkinen before the last shot, and 10.8 was his best score of the final, while Hakkinen slipped to 9.7 to settle for bronze. Abhinav Bindra’s gold medal triumph remains India’s only individual gold medal at the Olympics to date. He took first place on the podium with a final score of 104.5 – 1.8 more than silver medalist Zhu Qinan of China.

Abhinav Bindra’s illustrious shooting career

Abhinav Bindra, 15, was the youngest participant in the 1998 Commonwealth Games, while he also competed in the 2000 Summer Olympics as the youngest Indian participant where he finished 11th. At the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Bindra set a new Olympic record in the qualifying stages, but failed to win a medal as he slipped to seventh in the final round. The shooter’s moment arrived in Beijing where he clinched the top spot on the podium. The 2008 Olympic gold medalist failed to advance to the final round of the following London Olympics in 2012. At the Rio 2016 Olympics, Bindra desperately finished fourth, after losing a play-off to the top 3 against Serhiy Kulish, who ultimately won the silver.

Abhinav Bindra has won more than 50 medals in his 22-year career. He received the Padma Bhushan and remains one of the best sports influencers in the country. Bindra also enjoyed great success at the Commonwealth Games, winning gold medals in the air rifle pairs category for three straight matches. In the singles category, Bindra won the gold medal in 2014 in Glasgow, having won the bronze and silver medals in previous editions. He also won three medals (two bronze, one silver) at the Asian Games. Bindra retired after the 2016 Olympics and is currently working to integrate sport, science and technology into Indian sports and encourage high performance physical training through the Abhinav Bindra Foundation.

(Image: PTI)



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