Indian ace shooter Abhinav Bindra who created history at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 by winning India’s first individual goal medal has appreciated India’s efforts in Tokyo. India managed to send their biggest ever contingent to the Japanese capital and also returned with the highest ever medal tally of seven medals beating the London Olympics tally.
However, Bindra is very sceptical about the preparations for the next Olympics in Paris which is in three years. The shooter has warned everyone that a three cycle will always be more difficult for the athletes and hence they should be extra careful if they want to better India’s tally at the French capital in 2024.
“It was a historic performance with the best-ever seven medals. There were moments of great triumph and heartbreaks, but that is what sport is all about. We have a good momentum now going forward. I see the next Olympics 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,” the Beijing gold medallist said in a webinar.
The Tokyo Olympics was scheduled for 2020 but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, things got shifted by a year. This has resulted in a reduced schedule of three years instead of four for the Paris Olympics in 2024. The smaller cycle will mean lesser qualification events for the athletes which may be an added pressure on the athletes.
However, Abhinav Bindra is not alone now as India’s only individual Olympic gold medallist, javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra has joined him. The 23-year-old hurled the spear to a distance of 87.57metres and created history by winning the first Olympic medal in athletics that too a gold medal.
“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 a high-performance environment. Incorporating science, technology, engineering, analytics and medicine to athletes’ training and development not just at elite level but basing it right at the grassroots level is important, “Bindra opined.
The former shooter has also raised questions regarding the college level sporting system which is prevalent in western countries, has not really seen much development in India. He highlights that the college level system should be more efficient in helping talented athletes so that they don’t lose their way in the transition from junior to senior level.