Abhinav Singh Bindra (born 28 September 1982, in Dehradun) is an Indian shooter and is a World and Olympic champion in the 10 m Air Rifle event. By winning the gold in the 10 m Air Rifle event at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, he became the first Indian to win an individual gold medal at the Olympic Games.It was also India’s first gold medal since 1980, when the Men’s Field Hockey Team won the gold. He is the first and only Indian to have held both the World and Olympic titles at the same time, a feat he accomplished by capturing the Gold Medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, after having won the gold at the 2006 ISSF World Shooting Championships. Abhinav won Gold Medal in 2014 Commonwealth Games at Glasgow.
In 2014, Abhinav Bindra joined the GoSports Foundation, Bangalore as a member of their board of advisors. In collaboration with the GoSports Foundation, he will also provide support to India’s up and coming talented shooters through the Abhinav Bindra Shooting Development Programme.
In May 2016, the Indian Olympics Association (IOA) appointed Abhinav Bindra as the Goodwill Ambassador for Rio 2016 Olympic Games Indian Contingent.
Abhinav Bindra will also be the flag bearer for the Indian Contingent for Rio Olympics 2016.
At 15, Abhinav Bindra became the youngest participant in the 1998 Commonwealth Games. His breakthrough, though came when he won a Bronze in the 2001 Munich World Cup with a new junior world record score of 597/600. Bindra was also the youngest Indian participant at the 2000 Olympic Games.
He won six gold medals at various international meets in 2001. In 2000 he was honoured with the Arjuna Award and the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in 2001.
In the Air rifle event at the 2002 Commonwealth Games, Manchester, he won Gold in the Pairs event. Bindra also won Silver in the individual event.
In the 2004 Athens Olympics, despite breaking the Olympic record Bindra failed to win a medal. He scored 597 in the qualification round and was placed third behind Qinan Zhu (599 – new Olympic Record) and Li Jie (598). In the finals, Abhinav finished with 97.6 points, last in the field of eight, and was the only player below 100 points. His sub-par finals dropped him from third to seventh.
On 24 July 2006, Bindra became the first Indian shooter to win a World Championship gold in Zagreb. Dr. Karni Singh’s Silver in 1962 was the previous best by an Indian in a World Championship meet.
At the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, he won the Gold in the Pairs event and the Bronze in the Singles event. Abhinav missed the 2006 Asian Games at Doha because of a back injury.
After these successes he started suffering from a severe back injury, so much so that he was unable to compete or even lift a rifle for a year, upsetting his preparations for the Beijing Games. However, Bindra put all speculation to rest, bringing India perhaps his biggest sporting glory ever. Bindra booked his place in the 2008 Olympics by winning the gold medal at the 2006 ISSF World Shooting Championships with a score of 699.1.
At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Abhinav Bindra won the gold in the Men’s 10m Air Rifle event after shooting a total of 700.5. He scored 596 (fourth) in the qualifying round and out-scored all other shooters in the finals with a round of 104.5. In the finals, he started with a shot of 10.7, and none of his shots were below 10.0. Bindra was tied with Henri Häkkinen heading into his final shot. Bindra scored his highest of the finals – 10.8 while Hakkinen shot 9.7 to settle for the Bronze medal. It has been alleged that Abhinav Bindra’s gun was tampered with between the qualifying and final round of the event, though no official complaint was filed by the Indian contingent. This was India’s first individual gold medal at the Olympics, and the first gold in 28 years, since the men’s field hockey team won the gold at the 1980 Moscow Olympics. Bindra was rewarded by various Indian state governments and private organisations for his achievement.
When the 2010 Commonwealth Games were held in New-Delhi, Abhinav Bindra got the honour of being the Indian contingent’s flag-bearer at the opening ceremony. He also got the honour of taking the athletes’ oath on behalf of the 6,700 participants from 71 countries and territories on that occasion. Abhinav Bindra along with Gagan Narang shot in unison to set a Games record 1193 in 10m air rifle pair’s event for men to win the first gold for India in the 19th Commonwealth Games. However the Olympic Champion had to settle for silver in the individual event. His countryman Gagan Narang, who shot a perfect 600 to equal his own world record in men’s 10m individual air rifle qualification, won the Gold.
Abhinav Bindra won the Gold medal in the Men’s 10-metre Air rifle event at the 12th Asian Shooting Championships, which was held in Doha Qatar.
Abhinav Bindra lost in the qualification round in 2012 London Olympics finishing with a score of 594 placing him in 16th, though his compatriot Gagan Narang made it to the finals in 3rd place, and went on to win the bronze medal for India, thereby opening the medal tally for India in London Olympics 2012.
He will be hoping to win a medal for India in Rio Olympics 2016.