Mumbai: India’s lone individual Gold medallist Abhinav Bindra bids adieu to shooting as he announced his retirement from the sport on Sunday. Bindra who was appointed as the chairman of a review committee formulated by the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) to probe the shooter’s Rio Olympics debacle said his sole interest lies in the future of the shooters rather than looking back at failure.
“It’s is a very big task especially because you can never break performance into black and white, there will always be grey and that’s the nature of sport. I am the first to acknowledge that so I am not quite interested to look into the performance of the athletes and how prepared they were because that is the matter of past”, said Bindra on being asked about the performance of Rio Shooters.
He added, “I have actually recused myself from the whole interview process because I thought that would be unfair on my part because I was part of the same team. What I am personally more interested is to set up frameworks, systems and protocols which could perhaps helps us to govern sports, organise the sport of shooting and also the whole role of managing performance, monitoring performance and athlete preparation in a more systematic manner.
And of course to achieve that and in order to come to conclusions the committee obviously has to look back into the past. We need to see what we have done and how we can better that. But I think in seeing how we can improve, I don’t want to look into the past and see what’s gone wrong. My interest just lies in seeing how we can do better.”
On being asked about the future of Indian shooters at Olympics, he said, “For 2020 I think we already know 70 percent of our athletes, 30 percent of the athletes may come up within this period. You need to work with them already. But you need to look beyond that pool because that pool perhaps will not be available to you in 2024.”
After missing out on a medal by a whisker in the recently concluded Rio Olympics, he said, announcing his retirement, ‘‘It’s time to move on and hand over the baton to the younger generation. I came fourth in Rio and now retiring after playing for two decades. In Rio, I didn’t win a medal and stood fourth but it gave me a great closure. It’s an emotional day for me.”
Another generation of Olympians passes by and it hits us hard only after Bindra’s retirement announcement. His contribution to shooting in India and world over will go down in history. The demure champion will truly be missed.