Abhinav Bindra lost a heart-stopping shoot-off and a great chance to provide India with their first medal at 2016 Olympic Games at Rio De Janeiro on a day of missed opportunities for India’s contingent.
In his fifth successive and final Olympic appearance, Bindra had to settle for a fourth place finish after eventual silver medallist Serhiy Kulish of Ukraine edged the Indian out 10.5-10 in the men’s 10m air rifle shoot-off in the race to reach the medal round. The two has been tied with the same score at the packed Olympic Shooting Centre in Deodoro.
India’s only individual Olympic champion did not trot out any excuses, but only announced his retirement from the sport that had brought him worldwide attention and fame after he won gold for the same event at Beijing in 2008.
Saying he’s ‘done’, Bindra revealed that he will now convert his shooting range into a garden. “I’m converting that into a vegetable garden. Don’t you think I’m a serious person? Maybe the next time (Tokyo 2020), I will come as a journalist if anybody gives me a job,” said Bindra.
Here is a look at some of his moments at Rio 2016 and highlights from his career.
At 15, Bindra was the youngest participant at the 1998 Commonwealth Games. He was also the youngest Indian to take part at the 2000 Olympic Games. He shot to fame after his win at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the first Indian to win an individual gold medal.
After his loss at Rio 2016, Bindra announced his retirement from professional shooting, ending an 18-year-long international career.
In 2006, at the World Championship in Zagreb, Bindra became the first Indian shooter to win a gold medal. He also won gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. (Medal pictured above.)
Bindra was awarded the Arjuna Award in 2000 and the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, in 2001, the latter being the highest sporting honour in India.
In 2009, Bindra was awarded India’s third highest civilian award, the Padma Bhushan.