Tokyo Olympics 2020: Indian shooters will head to Olympics with 'favourites' tag, feels Abhinav Bindra
- 15 Indian shooters have already secured an Olympics berth, with a few of them participating in multiple events as well.
What's the story?
The Indian shooting contingent this time is filled with talented youngsters. Three members of the contingent - Elavenil Valarivan, Saurabh Chaudhary and Divyansh Panwar - won the prestigious ISSF Golden Target Award last year, for finishing the season as World No. 1 in their respective categories.
The young age of the shooters could work in India's advantage, as they would have relatively less pressure on their shoulders.
The heart of the matter
Speaking on whether India are the favourites in shooting at the Olympics, Bindra told PTI:
"Of course, there is no question about that! If you look at the ranking list, we have multiple people at world number one or in the top-two three (ranks), so that says something."
Bindra remains India's only individual Olympic gold medalist; he won the top prize in the 10-metre Air Rifle event at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. He has been a prominent part of India's Olympics ambitions ever since, and was the country's flab-bearer at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Speaking on Indian shooters' stellar run in 2019 and the Shooting World Cup victories, the 37-year-old added:
"Last season, we won the maximum amount of World Cup medals, so what does that say, we are favourites and we can’t shy away from that. We have to acknowledge that and appreciate that, appreciate all the good work they have done and keep going.
"Going into the games, there is an immense amount of potential (which) has been validated by success. It is perhaps our strongest (shooting) contingent going into the Games."
Bindra also expressed hope that he will not be India's sole individual gold medalist after the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
With many shooting events being scrapped in recent times due to the coronavirus outbreak, it will be of paramount importance for the shooters to keep their head and learn to adapt to the situation. 15 Indian shooters have already secured an Olympics berth, with a few of them participating in multiple events as well.Published 06 Mar 2020, 14:09 IST