India’s only individual gold medallist at Olympics – Abhinav Bindra feels Indian shooters have the ‘potential’ to win multiple medals, including gold, at the upcoming Tokyo Games. Bindra, who created history by winning gold in the 10m air rifle event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, is extremely hopeful of welcoming new entrants into what has so far been a ‘lonely club’. Also Read - 2008 Olympic Gold Left a Huge Void in My Life: Shooter Abhinav Bindra
India have successfully secured a record 15 quotas after a highly successful 2019. The Indian shooters topped all the Rifle-Pistol World Cups and the season-ending World Cup Finals. “Going into the Olympic Games we have he the potential to win multiple gold medals, a realistic shot at winning medals at the Olympics,” Bindra was quoted by PTI on Tuesday. Also Read - Badminton: Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth's Chances to Qualify For Tokyo Olympics Virtually Over With Singapore Open Cancellation
The 37-year-old Bindra can be given credit for the success as he suggested some radical changes after Indian shooters returned empty-handed from the 2016 Rio Olympics. Also Read - Russia School Shooting: 11 Killed, Several Injured After Gunman Opens Fire as Kids Jump from Windows
Taking into account the Indian shooters’ incredible performance in recent years, Bindra is optimistic of returning from Tokyo with a rich haul. “There are chances of coming back with a good haul. I have my fingers crossed,” he added.
Indian shooting’s best show at the Olympics remains the two medals won at London in 2012, but if the exploits in recent months are anything to go by, the country can easily emulate or better that in Tokyo.
Bindra is also very impressed by the young shooters’ ability to compete at the highest level with such remarkable consistency. In terms of overall medals won in 2019, the tally stood at 21 gold, six silver and three bronze.
It was also the country’s first Olympic yellow metal since 1980 when its men’s hockey team returned home after finishing top of the podium.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach recently thanked Bindra and Niccolo Campriani for their project ‘Taking Refugee’, under which they are helping refugee athletes to qualify for the Tokyo Games.