Tokyo Olympics 2020: 'Abhinav Bindra's gold medal completely transformed the shooting landscape in our country,' says Abhishek Verma
What's the story?
India's ace pistol shooter Abhishek Verma was full of praise for Abhinav Bindra and feels that it was his gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics that transformed the shooting landscape in India.
Back in 2008, Abhinav Bindra created history by becoming the first Indian sportsperson to win an individual Olympic gold.
There are a lot of expectations from the Indian shooting contingent for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. As many as 15 Indian shooters have already secured a berth for the quadrennial extravaganza slated to begin on July 24.
Abhishek Verma is also amongst the shooters to have already made the cut for the 2020 Olympics. His gold medal at the Beijing World Cup in April 2019 helped him secure a berth for the Men's 10-meter air pistol event.
More recently, he also won the 10-meter air pistol T2 event during the National Trials that are being held in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
The heart of the matter
Verma highly regards Abhinav Bindra and looks up to him. Speaking of the shooting legend, the Panipat-born Pistol Shooter told PTI:
"Abhinav Bindra's gold medal completely transformed the shooting landscape in our country. It gave that confidence to many aspiring shooters like me that I too can perform well in the sport and get a medal for my country. I am working really hard towards honing my skills and giving my best shot at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics."
The Asian Games Bronze medallist also spoke highly of the upcoming Khelo India University Games. The inaugural edition of the games will be held between 22nd February and 1st March in Bhubaneshwar.
Khelo India University Games (KIUG) has been excellent in unearthing the raw talent in the country. KIUG aims to replicate the success of KIYG and provide a platform to university-level sportspersons in the country to showcase their talent.
Speaking of the Government initiative, Abhishek further stated:
"I think this is the best thing to have happened for grassroots level sports in our country, previously there was a national university championship that used to take place but no one was aware of it. Firstly with Khelo India Youth Games and now with the Khelo India University games taking place I think we finally have a system coming in place which provides a professional competition space for all aspiring athletes of our country."
Such events are sure to help athletes reflect on their personal performances and prepare them better.
Abhishek Verma is a big medal hope for the country at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. India will be hoping that the 30-year-old can emulate the success of Abhinav Bindra and win laurels at the gala event through a podium finish.Published 06 Feb 2020, 19:23 IST