Abhinav Bindra, India's first individual Olympic gold medalist, is happy with the haul India achieved at the recently concluded Tokyo Olympics 2021.
Abhinav Bindra lauded India's performance at the Tokyo Games, terming it a spirited one but said the road to Paris for the 2024 Olympics will be difficult given the shorter Olympic cycle.
The Tokyo Olympics 2021 were postponed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the next Olympic-cycle was reduced to three years, from the usual four, going into the 2024 Paris Games.
The athletes will now be left with the challenge of having fewer qualification events and quotas.
Speaking at a webinar organized by the ELMS Sports Foundation, Abhinav Bindra said the challenge for athletes will be to get back on the road quick. He added:
“It was a historic performance (at the Tokyo Olympics 2021) with the best-ever seven medals. There were moments of great triumph and heart breaks, but that is what sport is all about. Going forward, we have good momentum now. I see the next Olympic-cycle will be tricky, primarily because of the shorter cycle. Normally, athletes get a year post-Olympics that allows them to rest and recover, but this time around they need to get back pretty quickly."
Abhinav Bindra bats for creating a high-performance environment
At the Tokyo Olympics 2021, ace javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra became the second athlete after Abhinav Bindra to win an individual gold medal. The celebrated shooter believes the notion of bringing in scientific methods and creating a high-performance environment at the grassroots level will be critical going forward. Abhinav Bindra explained:
“We talk about top leaderships but I think we need to get more quality in the second-level of leadership. We need to empower these people with knowledge of how to set up a high-performance environment. Incorporating science, technology, engineering, analytics and medicine to athletes’ training and development not just at the elite level but basing it right at the grassroots level is important."
Abhinav Bindra felt the country’s college level sporting system is not developed effectively enough and needs to be played in a much more meaningful way going forward as a lot of talent is lost in the transition from junior to elite level.