After witnessing Abhinav Bindra shoot his way to a gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Rupesh Kumar Shaw, himself a shooter who competed in a 10m Air Pistol event for East Zone, decided to name his son, born that same year, after the ace marksman.
"I decided that Abhinav would be a shooter on the day he was born. Abhinav was born in the year 2008, the year when Abhinav Bindra won the gold at the Beijing Olympics. Our son is named after the great Abhinav Bindra,” he says in a statement released by Khelo India Youth Games.
Not just an empty prophecy
Toward making his forecast come true, Rupesh made sure his young son got the necessary training. “I took our son to the club at the age of eight and started his shooting training. When he was nine years old, he cracked the youth trials at Trivandrum in 2017. He became the state senior champion in 2018 and then he went on to win the gold at the Khelo India Games. Everyone says that Abhinav is a natural shooter.”
Rupesh is referring, of course, to the two gold medals Abhinav won in the mixed team event (youth and junior category) at the Senior Nationals in 2018, and the gold he bagged at the Khelo India Youth Games in 2019, where he won in the 10m Air Rifle U-21 mixed team event alongside Mehuli Ghosh.
Abhinav hopes to go global
At just 11 years old, Abhinav Shaw is yet to have played an international tournament but is currently undergoing preparations for the India trials (youth, junior and senior categories), which are to take place later this month.
Also happening in January will be the 2020 Khelo India Youth Games, where he will be looking to repeat his success from 2019. “The Khelo India Youth Games is a good platform for youth athletes. My biggest achievement in my career so far has been the gold medal I won in the Khelo India Youth Games in 2019. The competition was very tough, and the athletes were very good,” enthused Abhinav.
The third edition of the Khelo India Youth Games will be held from January 10-22 in Guwahati, Assam.