Abhinav Bindra believes India can win record medal haul at Tokyo Olympics

The Olympic gold-medalist is confident the that Indian shooting contingent will put up an impressive show in Tokyo...

By Samrat Chakraborty ·

Abhinav Bindra, India's only individual gold medal winner, believes that the Tokyo Olympics may be the best-ever, in terms of medals won, for the country.

He feels that India has a wealth of talent and many athletes who can be counted as "realistic" medal prospects.

“Tokyo Olympics could end up with our best ever medal-haul even though the times are challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Bindra said on Monday during a webinar organised by Merchants’ Chambers of Commerce & Industry.

“Sport is not scripted but I do hope that we come back with our best medal haul and that means we will come back with 5-6 medals and better the London haul, which, if I am not wrong, remains our best.”

Bindra is pinning his hopes on Indian shooters as he thinks that the athletes have proven their mettle at the biggest stages in the recent past and if they can replicate their performances at that very moment,

“I think each one of them has the ability to do their best, they have proved themselves in the last two-three years. There are definite medal hopes not just in shooting but across other disciplines as well. We have many people who can be considered as realistic medal hopes going into Tokyo. But a lot also depends on that particular day,” he said.

Abhinav Bindra

Bindra has launched his pet project the Abhinav Bindra Targeting Performance Centre (ABTP) where he is nurturing future prospects. He feels that the shooting landscape in India has undergone a major change since he started over two decades back.

"Shooting is now dominated by youngsters but when I was growing up, I was competing with older and experienced people who were double or triple our age. I don’t think it was a challenge but it was an interesting dynamic. Whenever I am in a crisis situation, whenever I find a challenge I do look back at my sporting career and ask myself how do I face it.

“As an athlete, you have to be very adaptable to changing situations, these are very useful in business as well. The other thing that is very important is acceptance. Sometimes we have to learn how to accept and move on as soon. As you do that your mind opens, it opens up to look at solutions rather than whining. The mind is then very positive. But it is easier said than done."

Interestingly, immediately after he won gold in Beijing back in 2008 he wanted to give up the sport. He explained how meditation helped him to find peace and get back his motivation.

“Post Beijing I wanted to give up. I went for a meditation retreat, a 10-day Vipasana where I am supposed to meditate for 10 hours a day. That’s when I realised that I was still in love with the process. Actually it was the boring and mundane that again brought me back to the sport,” the former shooter.