Beijing Games gold medallist shooter Abhinav Bindra on Monday insisted that he has no plans to retire from the sport after crashing out of the London Olympics by failing to make the finals of the 10m air rifle event here.
Bindra, who scripted history four years ago by becoming the country’s first-ever individual gold medallist in the Olympics, shot 594 out of 600 to finish a shocking 16th out of 47 competitors and lost the golden chance of becoming the world’s first shooter to win two successive gold medals at the mega event.
“This was not my day. I started slowly and there was a lot of pressure. It was a very highly competitive field, my performance went up and down,” Bindra said after the qualifying round at the Royal Artillery Barracks.
Bindra started with two 99s in the first two series before coming back strongly by getting two perfect 10s for consecutive 100s in the third and fourth rounds.
The two 100s gave Bindra the lift and the belief he badly needed after dropping a point each in the first two sets.
However, a 99 in the fifth and an even poorer outing in the last series where he could score just 97, dashed Bindra’s chances of earning a berth in the eight-man finals to be held later on Monday.
Asked if he was contemplating quitting the sport, Bindra said he has no plans to call it a day.
“It has been a nice journey for me and I have worked hard for this, but unfortunately, I could not make it to the finals,” he added while talking to reporters here.
Even as Bindra failed, compatriot Gagan Narang kept alive India’s hopes by advancing to the medal round.
Narang finished third with 598, a point behind world number 1 Niccolo Campriani of Italy and Romania’s Moldoveanu Alin George who both shot an Olympic record-equalling 599 to stand first and second in the qualifying round.
Bindra is now banking on Narang to do the country proud.
“And now I will watch Gagan and I hope he will do well,” Bindra said.