Indian shooting contingent’s top form and medal haul last year prompts the 2008 gold medalist to have high hopes for Tokyo 2020.
India’s shooting legend and 2008 Olympic gold winner Abhinav Bindra believes that his country’s marksmen and markswomen have the potential to win multiple medals, including gold, at the Olympics later this year.
His hope comes on the back of the Indian shooters having a solid 2019 season, winning titles at the World Cups and the season-ending World Cup Finals last year. Going in to Tokyo 2020, the contingent will occupy 15 quotas.
“Going into the Olympic Games we have the potential to win multiple gold medals, a realistic shot at winning medals at the Olympics," Abhinav Bindra told the Press Trust of India in a conversation.
It’s hard to bet against the man’s words, given the numbers that Indian shooting has stacked up in the last 12 months. In 2019, the Indians won 30 medals that included 21 gold, six silver and three bronze.
While Saurabh Chaudhary, Abhishek Verma and Manu Bhaker barely missed the gold metal in the pistol events, Apurvi Chandela, Elavenil Valarivan and Anjum Moudgil were the top performers in the rifle events last year.
It’s this wave of form that’s given the nation enough reasons to once again believe in Indian shooting after a disappointing outing at Rio 2016. “There are chances of coming back with a good haul. I have my fingers crossed,” said Abhinav Bindra, India’s only gold medallist in an individual event at the Olympics.
Indian shooting’s best outing at the Olympics came at London 2012 when they won two medals at the Games. Rifle shooter Gagan Narag and pistol ace Vijay Kumar were among the medals winning a bronze in the 10m Air Rifle and a silver in the 25m Rapid Fire Pistol respectively.
Interestingly, India’s best run at the Olympic Games too came in London as they returned with a total haul of six medals from the 2012 Games. The nation will wait with hopes to see their shooting stars go the distance when Tokyo 2020 gets underway in July.