Ace shooter and India's only Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra tells Forbes India getting dropped from the Commonwealth Games has hurt him and disrupted his training
Claim to Fame: Gold in 10-metre Air Rifle, Beijing Olympics
Education: Degree in business from Colorado, USA
Hobbies: Travelling and watching movies
What are your future plans?
I am just going to focus on the World Championships now. After that, prepare for other tournaments and just see how that goes. I am going to train, going to compete internationally. I am aiming for another Olympic gold. It doesn’t matter if I can’t do it in the next Olympics. I’ll try for another 18 years if I have to.
You said you thought of quitting the sport. How did matters deteriorate to such an extent?
You have to plan for the future in shooting. It is a very individual sport. I have my own tailor-made programmes that I follow rigorously. That’s the way I have succeeded in the past and that’s the way I am going to train in the future. But this time there was a lack of understanding from officials. It was frustrating and annoying. I am trying hard to find a silver lining. I am trying to go ahead. I don’t want to keep harping on about it.
How has the whole episode affected you mentally?
I am in a bad frame of mind right now. Shooting is a very mental sport and everything has been disrupted. You cannot afford to get distracted while you are training and the exact opposite has happened to me. I am a sensitive human being and the last month has been very tiring. But the month is almost over and I am hoping that matters begin to look up.
What is lacking at the National Rifle Association of India’s (NRAI) training facilities?
Nothing is lacking. But I have been training in Germany for the past 15 years. I have my own set of coaches with whom I prepare; and that has served me very well so far. I am sure that it will continue to pay results. I have no intention of changing my schedule.
What was the option you gave the NRAI so they would consider you for the Commonwealth?
I spend more than 250 days in Germany every year. To come back for domestic trials is not possible. The option I gave the NRAI was to consider my results in international events and then decide if I was good enough to be selected. I think that’s fair. In fact, that’s how we worked it out prior to Beijing [Olympics]; for some reason that wasn’t considered this time.
But you came back in December.
Yes I did. I came back for the December domestic trials. These trials are held every month. I was told that they are not going to happen this time. So for the past one and a half months, my training has been disrupted.
Why do you think the NRAI doesn’t want to consider you as a special case? Do they have a grouse against you?
I am not in a position to answer that. I certainly hope that is not the case. Shooting is my passion. I have given my whole life to the sport and I have won medals for my country. That’s what I want to continue to do. Frankly speaking, I am not really scared. Yes, this episode has affected my planning but I know that I will continue to compete and keep trying to win.
Other than shooting what do you like to do?
I am really interested in human psychology. I like see what makes [people] react to situations the way they do. It helps me get different perceptions on human beings.