Medallist attacks India officials

India’s Olympic champion shooter Abhinav Bindra has hit out at the nation’s sports coaches and officials, saying they “know nothing” about sport.

India won their best ever haul, a gold and two bronze medals, in Beijing. But Bindra, who won gold in the 10m air rifle event, said there was “no magic solution” to make the underperforming nation a sporting power.

“If we want to get to double digits, we need to target 2016 and start working from today,” he said.

But the respective federations have no vision and I don’t see that changing. I wish I had a magic solution but unfortunately, I don’t. The IOA has to play a role in building athletes. It does nothing.”

I hadn’t realized the Olympic bureaucracy in India was so stodgy. It takes a good deal of courage to speak out – even as a winning athlete. Though this certainly is the best time to do so.

Kudos to Bindra for having the courage of his convictions. I hope a productive dialogue follows.

Abhinav Bindra wins India’s first individual Olympic gold medal

Ace shooter Abhinav Bindra, India’s first individual Olympic gold medallist, says he has been “punching holes on black paper” for the last 10 years. This obsession fetched the reticent 25-year-old a gold medal in the men’s 10m air rifle shooting contest in Beijing.

Bindra was a child prodigy, representing India at the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, while just 16. In 2000, he was not yet 18 years old, when he went to the Sydney Olympics. He was the youngest in the contingent. But within a year he was winning medals around the world and in 2002 he became a Commonwealth Games gold medallist.

The anthem has been played for his winning the gold medal. And he can be satisfied that what he had come for has been attained and a new chapter in Indian sports history has been penned.