How Abhinav Bindra discarded imperfect pellets to win gold at the Beijing Olympics

Olympics Day 3 - Shooting
Olympics Day 3 - Shooting

Back in 2008, legendary shooter Abhinav Bindra won the gold medal in the Beijing Olympics. He finished on top of the podium in the men’s 10-metre air rifle event. It was a historic moment for both Bindra and India as he became the first from his country to bag gold in an individual event at the Olympics. He defeated 2004 gold medallist Qinan Zhu, whose final score was 700.5 points.

For his incredible feat, the Indian central government awarded him a cash prize of ₹5 million. Even as his road to glory is known to most people, there is an interesting story behind Bindra’s triumphant run in Beijing. Aniket Mishra, a user on X, revealed an intriguing factoid where he said that the shooter had to eliminate pellets bought by him.

Bindra bought 10,000 Chinese pellets back in 2008 ahead of the Beijing Olympics. However, he noticed that their grouping was better than the ones from Germany. Hence, he took time out to discard the pellets which were not perfect. From there, he did not look back and made history.

In the 2016 Rio Olympics, Bindra, agonizingly, missed out on winning a medal after finishing fourth in the men’s 10-metre air rifle event.

Abhinav Bindra bringing laurels to India

Apart from his epic feat at the Olympics, Bindra made his country proud at various levels. The now 41-year-old won 7 medals in the Commonwealth Games, including 4 golds in Manchester (2002), Melbourne (2006), Delhi (2010) and Glasgow (2014).

In 2006, he clinched the gold medal in the 10-metre air rifle event at the World Championships in Zagreb. Bindra also won three medals in the Asian Games.

In 2020, Bindra was conferred with the Arjuna Award, and in 2009, following his success in Beijing, he got the prestigious Padma Bhushan.

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