On This Day In 2008, Abhinav Bindra Became First Indian To Win Olympic Gold
Abhinav Bindra became the first Indian to win an individual gold medal in 2008.
- Abhinav Bindra won the gold medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008
- He became the first Indian to win an individual Olympic gold medal
- Abhinav Bindra announced his retirement from the sport in 2017
It was on August 11, 2008, when Abhinav Bindra became the first Indian to win an individual Olympic gold medal. Bindra had achieved the feat during the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 10-metre air rifle shooter was seen at the top of his craft. The shooter had shot a 10.8 on his last shot and this sealed the gold medal for the Indian team. Before this shot, he was tied with Finland's Henri Hakkinen and if he had shot anything less than 10.8, he would not have won the gold medal.
Having started his Olympic journey in Sydney back in 2000, the 37-year-old shooter qualified in three Olympic finals including his golden journey of Beijing in 2008 (Athens being the other one) in his pet 10m air rifle, while he missed out in Sydney and London.
Bindra, India's lone individual Olympic gold medallist, in 2017 had officially announced his retirement from shooting, saying "it is time to move on and hand over the baton to the younger generation".
The shooter had missed a near second Olympic medal in the Rio Olympics 2016.
Tokyo Olympics were slated to go ahead this year, but it has been pushed to next year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier this year, Bindra had said that India would go into the Olympics as favourites in shooting.
"We go into the games as favourites in shooting, we will be favourites in multiple events. We have 15 quota places at the moment which will result in 21 starts as some of them shoot in multiple events, so 21 shots at a medal, and even if we achieve 50 per cent of the target, that''s a whole lot of medals," Bindra had said.
Since September 1, 2018, which was the beginning of the qualification period for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Indian shooters have won a record 15 Olympic quota places.