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Tokyo 2020

All about resilience and adaptability at Olympics: Abhinav Bindra

The former gold medallist feels that the Indian shooting team won't be fazed by the challenges at the Tokyo Olympics.

Abhinav Bindra at 2008 Beijing Olympics

Abhinav Bindra at 2008 Beijing Olympics. (File Photo: Times of India)


Manish Sharma

Updated: 22 July 2021 5:57 PM GMT

With the Tokyo Olympics just hours away, fans are eager and excited and are always looking for some anecdotes in terms of what goes into the preparation and how challenging it is to compete at the Olympic games. For the Indian fans, there could not be a better person to listen to than the former Olympic gold medallist and shooting legend Abhinav Bindra.

The 38-year-old was recently in conversation with renowned sports journalist Gaurav Kalra on Bakstage, an application that is used for interaction via audio conversations. Here are some of the key highlights of the discussion.

Challenges due to delayed Olympics and no spectators

While many would feel that the one-year delay which was caused due to the pandemic might bring in additional challenges, Bindra had a rather positive outlook on the subject. He feels that it is actually better for the athletes and has given them additional time to prepare themselves for the Tokyo Olympics. He said, "I look at it differently as athletes have gotten a year of extra practice and we will have world-class performances coming in the games. Of course, we will miss the atmosphere and the aura of the Olympics but we live in exceptional times and we have to find a way to get the show on the road."

The former Olympian recognized that there will be challenges at the Tokyo games but he believes it is all about how the athletes adapt to those challenges and situations. He said, "There are these extra restrictions, because of the pandemic, and there will be an inconvenience but the Olympics is all about adaptability and showing resilience and the athletes will have to show these traits at the games."

Self-belief of shooters

Indian Shooting Team (Source: NRAI)

The shooting team that will be representing the country at the Tokyo Olympics will be carrying huge expectations but there'll be some reservations because of the inexperience, as for many shooters this will be their first Olympics. However, Abhinav feels that inexperience won't be an issue for these athletes because of the number of competitions they've been part of right from the youth level.

Abhinav said, "These young athletes represent the new generation and have the self-belief, so I don't think inexperience of competing in their first games is a major factor. The athletes have had the exposure of competing in the Youth Olympics and events like Commonwealth Games and Asian Games which has prepared them well enough."

Focus on the process rather than the outcome

As a fan, it's easy to get excited looking at the current crop of athletes and have major expectations in terms of medals. But Abhinav feels that it will be important, especially for the athletes, to focus more on the process rather than the outcome at the Tokyo Olympics.

He said, "We're talking about the possibility of double-digit medal tally and it is a realistic possibility. However, it's important for the athletes to remain detached from the outcome and the entire focus should be on performance and immersing themselves in the process and just use their mental capacity to execute their skills to the best of their ability."

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