New Delhi: 25-year old Bindra’s victory in the men’s 10m Air Rifle event yesterday has put India in a jubilant mood as its first ever individual Olympic gold came on a day when nothing else went right in the sporting world for the country.
Hailed as the country’s finest sporting achievement, this has put him up as a new brand icon too. Sports management firms predict there will be at least three to four brands queuing to sign up Bindra. Cash rewards total Rs.1.82 crore.
President of India, Pratibha Patil
The President led the nation in congratulating ace shooter Abhinav Bindra for winning the gold medal in the men’s 10-metre air rifle event at the Beijing Olympic Games.
In a message, the President said Mr. Bindra had realised the dream of the people of the country and said his achievement should inspire confidence among sportspersons to reach the pinnacle of any sport at the international level. “It should also be an inspiration for more of our youth to take up sports as a fulltime career,” she said.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi, the former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the Leader of the Opposition, L.K. Advani and BJP president Rajnath Singh congratulated the ace shooter and hoped Indian players would clinch more medals.
Union Sports Minister M.S. Gill was particularly impressed by the manner in which Mr. Bindra won the gold even after having had a spinal injury.
Kapil Dev, cricketer
Abhinav Bindra’s gold winning feat is the biggest sporting achievement of the country. Kapil said winning country’s first individual Olympic gold is a far bigger achievement than the 1983 cricket World Cup triumph.
The former-all-rounder also hoped that the feat would have the same effect in India’s sporting scene as the ‘83 world cup win had on popularity of cricket.
Bindra has done the country proud. This is far bigger than any other sporting achievement.
It is difficult to compare India’s sporting laurels but I think this one has eclipsed all other feats. (Gulf Times)
Viswanathan Anand, chess player
I woke up this morning and read that we have got a gold. I was really happy. I think Abhinav has done all of us proud. Shooting is also a sport that needs a lot of concentration and he seems to have kept himself with a lot of focus till the end.
I am sure he will never forget the moment when he climbed the podium. Everyone only sees the winning moment but as sportspersons we all know the hours of dedication and ambition that go into every event. Sometimes very little distinguishes victory from defeat. (The Hindu)
Milkha Singh, legendary Olympian runner
I am so happy. My dream to see India win an individual gold medal in the Olympics before I die has been fulfilled,” an emotional Milkha Singh told IANS over the phone from Chandigarh after Bindra won the 10-metre air rifle event at Beijing, India’s first Olympic gold in 28 years.
Recalling his personal experience at the Rome Olympics in 1960 when he narrowly lost the bronze, Milkha Singh said Bindra’s success seemed to have given him his “lost medal” back.
Bindra’s feat makes me feel like I have got my Olympics medal back. His success is an inspiration to young sportspersons and especially the Olympics team there to do their best. If you ask me, Bindra should be awarded the Bharat Ratna once he is back home. (IANS)
Prasoon Joshi, NCD & executive chairman, McCann Erickson
I will certainly be recommending Bindra to my clients. He brings a rare success and epitomises the positive Indian story. Sports other than cricket are the last thing we expect Indians to do well in as it does not come naturally to us, hence the victory is even more significant. (The Economic Times)
Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, silver medallist in shooting, Athens Games
Shooters have been the strongest in the Indian contingent for some time now. We will get stronger.
In sport, you have misses and hits. I have always maintained that someone or the other will shine. That is what happens in a good team.
Abhinav Bindra has done all of us proud. (The Hindu)