Khelo India Youth Games youngest gold medallist shooter Abhinav Shaw was named after the legendary Abhinav Bindra, his father has revealed.

In fact, Shaw’s father Rupesh Kumar Shaw decided his son will became a shooter from the day he was born. “I decided that Abhinav would be a shooter on the day he was born,” Rupesh said. “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. 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.”

Shooter Bindra is the only Indian to have won an individual Olympic gold medal when he created history at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Rupesh, who is a home tutor, also had a stint in shooting. He competed in the 10m air pistol event for East Zone.

Speaking about the Khelo India Youth Games, Abhinav Shaw said that the competition is a good platform for the youth.  “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. I participated in the 10 m air rifle mixed team event (along with teammate Mehuli Ghosh in the U-21 category),” said the 11-year-old.

Abhinav, who is currently preparing for the India trials (youth, junior and senior categories), has not competed in an international tournament yet. However, the young shooter has had success at the national level. “I started shooting two and a half years ago at the Asansol rifle club. I have not played any international tournament as yet. I am currently preparing for the India trials (youth, junior and senior), which will take place in January. I have played in the senior nationals in 2018 and 2019. I won two gold medals in the mixed team event (youth and junior category) at the nationals in 2018,” Abhinav said.

The third edition of the Khelo India Games will be held in Guwahati from 10 January 2020 to 22 January 2020.