Abhinav Bindra announces retirement from professional shooting

Abhinav Bindra, who shot his way to glory in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, has announced his retirement from professional shooting.

He made the announcement on Twitter on Monday, a day before his 10m Air Rifle event at the ongoing Asian Games at Incheon, South Korea.

He also added that he will ‘compete as a hobby shooter and train twice a week.’ Bindra harbours hopes of making the cut for the 2016 Olypics in Rio de Janeiro.

His name will forever be etched in history as the first Indian to win an individual gold medal at the Olympic Games. The moment he stood on the podium to recieve the medal as India’s national anthem played in the background is one the biggest sporting achievement of the nation.

Shooting is a sport which requires a zen-like calmness. Bindra’s final shot at the 2008 Olympics was the perfect display of how well he has mastered that. He shot a near perfect 10.8, to edge ahead of his 2 opponents and claim the gold. What followed was a little fist pump – no loud exclamation, no change in his expression. It was as if he didn’t realize the magnanimity of his achievement.

In 2006, at the young age of 23, the ace marksman clinched the world championship gold in the 10 m air rifle event at the ISSF World Shooting Championship at Zagreb (Croatia). This was India’s first ever gold medal at the World Championships.
He had won a silver in the previous edition of the Games in 2010 held at Guangzhou, China. He will surely try to go a step further on Tuesday and can bow out with a bang.

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