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Abhinav Bindra- The Legend who brought the first gold in 28 years

Abhinav Bindra who is not only a sports person but also a businessman is a retired professional shooter who is a former world and Olympic champion in the 10 Meter air rifle event.

Pallavi Chanana
Last updated: 28.09.2019
Abhinav Bindra- The Legend who brought the first gold in 28 years | Sports Social Blog

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"Multi-talented", a title that can be given to a gem of our country, Abhinav Bindra who is not only a sports person but also a businessman. Bindra is a retired professional shooter who is a former world and Olympic champion in the 10 Meter air rifle event. By winning the gold in the 10-meter rifle at the 2008 Beijing games he became the first Indian to win an individual gold medal at Olympic games.

It was also India's first gold medal since 1980 when men's field hockey team won the gold. 

He is the first and only Indian to have won both the World and Olympic title at the same time. A feat he accomplished by capturing the gold medal at the 2008 Olympic game in Beijing, after having gold in 2006 at the ISSF World shooting championship. Bindra also won the gold medal at the 2014 Commonwealth games in Glasgow.


In 2014 Abhinav joined the Gosport Foundation, Bangalore. Later in collaboration with the Gosport foundation, Bindra provided support to India's up and coming shooters through Abhinav Bindra Shooting development programme.

In 2016 the Indian Olympic association appointed Abhinav Bindra as the goodwill Ambassador of Rio 2016 Olympic games India contingent. In 2016 summer Olympics Bindra finished 4th in the final of 10-meter air rifle event.

On 5th September 2016, Bindra announces his retirement. On 30 November 2018 Bindra was bestowed with the prestigious blue cross, ISSF's highest shooting honour. 


Personal Life:


He published his autobiography, A SHOT OF HISTORY: MY OBSESSIVE JOURNEY TO OLYMPIC GOLD which he co-authored with sportswriter Rohit Brijnath in October 2011. 

It was formally released by union sports minister Ajay Maken on 27 October 2011 at a function in New Delhi, thereafter the book went to receive positive reviews. Bindra tells that he has no born talent in him, the only talent he has is that he can practice regularly and honestly to reach to his aim. He said that his only dream was to win a gold medal at the district level from the very first day of his shooting practice. Everything else was just pure greed and determination and of course his sheer love for the sport, including his Olympic gold medal. According to him his elation of winning district level was far greater than winning Olympics.

He says that its really sad that in our country sports is not considered to be a profession by most of the Indian parents, and its high time that we consider sports as a serious profession and move forward in it.




Early Years


Abhinav was born in a wealthy Punjabi family. He went to Doon school for 2 years before going to the St. Stephen School in Chandigarh. He graduated from the Stephens school in 2000.

In the Kolkata literary meet, he said that he had to get into some sports when he was at Doon and then he chose shooting reluctantly. But then slowly he developed some interest in the sport and wanted to move forward in it. His parents then installed an indoor shooting range at their place in Patiala, Punjab for his practices. His mentor was Dr. Amit Bhattacharjee who was with him from the beginning of his career. Later his coach changed and he came under Gabriele Buhlmann who was a 5-time Olympic shooter from Basel, Switzerland. Bhattacharjee and Lt. Col. Dhillon were the first ones to figure this talent into Abhinav and make him excel in it. Bindra was the youngest participant in the 2000 Olympics where he achieved a score of 590 placing him 11th in the qualification round, meaning he did not qualify for the finals since only the top 8 competed in the finals.


Notable International Performance


At the age of 15, Abhinav became the youngest participant in the 1998 commonwealth games. His breakthrough came when he won a bronze at the Munich world cup with a new junior world record of 597/600.

He won 6 gold medals at various international meets in 2001.

In 2000 he was awarded by Arjuna award and the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel rattan award in 2001.

In the air rifle event in 2002 commonwealth game Manchester, he won gold in the Paris event. Bindra also won silver in the Individual event.

In 2004 Athens Olympic despite of breaking a record he failed to win a medal.

On 24 July 2006, Bindra became the first Indian shooter to win a gold in the world championship in Zagreb. Dr. Karni Singh's silver was the previous best by an Indian in the world championship meet.

He won the Gold in the Pairs event and the Bronze in the Singles event. He somehow missed the 2006 Asian Games at Doha because of a back injury.

After these successes he started suffering from a severe back injury, so much so that he was unable to even lift a rifle for a year, upsetting his preparations for the Beijing Games. However, Bindra came back strongly and booked his place in the 2008 Olympics by winning the gold medal at the 2006 ISSF World Shooting Championships with a score of 699.1.


At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Abhinav Bindra won the gold in the Men's 10m Air Rifle event after shooting a total of 700.5. He scored 596 (fourth)  It has been alleged that Abhinav Bindra's gun was tampered with between the qualifying and final round of the event, though no official complaint was filed by the Indian contingent. This was India's first individual gold medal at the Olympics, and the first gold in 28 years, since the men's field hockey team won the gold at the 1980 Moscow Olympics. Bindra was rewarded by various Indian state governments and private organisations for his achievement.


When the 2010 Commonwealth Games were held in New-Delhi, Abhinav Bindra got the honour of being the Indian contingent's flag-bearer at the opening ceremony. He also got the honour of taking the athletes' oath on behalf of the 6,700 participants from 71 countries and territories on that occasion. Abhinav Bindra along with Gagan Narang shot in unison to set a Games record 1193 in 10m air rifle pair's event for men to win the first gold for India in the 19th Commonwealth Games. However, the Olympic Champion had to settle for silver in the individual event. His countryman Gagan Narang, who shot a perfect 600 to equal his own world record in men's 10m individual air rifle qualification, won the Gold. Abhinav Bindra won the Gold medal in the Men's 10-metre Air rifle event at the 12th Asian Shooting Championships, which was held in Doha Qatar.


Abhinav Bindra lost in the qualification round in 2012 London Olympics finishing with a score of 594 placing him in 16th, though his compatriot Gagan Narang made it to the finals in 3rd place, and went on to win the bronze medal for India, thereby opening the medal for India in London Olympics 2012. In 2014 Commonwealth Games at Glasgow, Abhinav Bindra again won Gold. 


At the 2016 Olympic Games at Rio de Janeiro, he came fourth in the Men's 10m Air Rifle singles event after losing a shoot-off for the top 3 to Serhiy Kulish, who eventually won the silver. 

After narrowly missing out on a medal in 2016 Rio Olympics, Abhinav Bindra retired from the sport at 33 to give way to the ‘younger’ generation.

“It was time to move on and am very much at peace with it. I realised whatever little talent I had was beginning to fade” Abhinav told to firtspost in an interview on the sidelines of sports illustrated sportsperson of the year event where he achieved the ‘Lifetime achievement award’.


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