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Abhinav Bindra: 'I Am in a Bad Frame of Mind'

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

Published: Feb 5, 2010 12:01:00 AM IST
Updated: Feb 17, 2014 12:23:59 PM IST
Abhinav Bindra,Gold in 10-metre Air Rifle, Beijing Olympics
Image: Desmond Boylan/ Reuters
Abhinav Bindra,Gold in 10-metre Air Rifle, Beijing Olympics

Abhinav Bindra
Age: 27
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.


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  • rasika

    First of all I want 2 congratulate for getting the biggest sucess in ur life. I think NRAI had taken a much wrong decision about u. they have 2 change their d way, best of luck 4ur future.

    on Feb 5, 2010