Ace marksman Manavjit Singh Sandhu on Monday said that Abhinav Bindra’s gold-winning feat in the 2008 Beijing Olympics would be the rallying point for Indian shooters in their quest to produce a better performance in the upcoming London Games.
Sandhu, a former trap world champion, said that Indian shooters would win more than one medal in the July 27-August 12 Olympics, as the country would be represented by the “best ever team“.
“The shooting team has a mix of youngsters and experienced people. Most of us are in top form and we are well prepared. I can say this is the best Indian shooting team in Olympics and so definitely we will perform better than in Beijing,” he said.
“I can’t say we will win two gold medals. Abhinav won a gold in Beijing and of course that will be our rallying point.
I am sure this time it will be better than Beijing,” he added.
Sandhu felt that Indian shooting had changed a lot for the better in the last eight years since he took part in the Olympics for the first time in Athens.
“Indian shooting has changed a lot. We have world beaters now and we have lots of experienced shooters. Personally, I have also changed in experience, confidence and technique since my first Olympics in 2004,” said the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awardee.
“The government has also done so much for our support in the run up to the Olympics which for some strange reasons has not been highlighted. The Sports Ministry has supported us very well and we are lucky for that,” he said.
Asked what advice he would give to the first—timer Olympians in the Indian contingent, Sandhu said, “Taking part in the Olympics is any sportsperson’s dream and naturally there will be bit of excitement and nervousness.
“I would want to advice them to just relax and give their best by considering it as just any other international tournament.”
On what he would do in the next 25 days or so before the Games, Sandhu said, “I will be training as well as relaxing.
At the same time, you need to ensure that you are focused and not get injured.
“Olympics comes in four years and performance on that particular day matters. So there is always some nervousness in the thought that whether you will be able to give your best on that day or else all the hard work will go waste. So, keeping calm and maintaining focus is important.”
Ace 10m Air rifle shooter Gagan Narang agreed with Sandhu and said that he would be happy if he gives his best in the Olympics.
“I would be happy if I give my best. My advice to the first-timer Olympians would be to go and give your best. It will be my third Olympics and I have come a long way. I have got the experience and better-prepared this time,” he said.
World number one double trap shooter Ronjan Sodhi said that he is excited and at the same time a bit nervous as it would be his first Olympics. He, though, is ready for the challenge.
“I am little bit nervous but it’s more of excitement. I qualified for the Olympics last year and I am mentally prepared. I am not going to do anything different in Lodon. I will do the same I have been doing in last two years,” he said.