Saturday, July 13, 2024

Stay in the moment, keep flexible mindset: Bindra’s advice to Paris-bound Indian athletes


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Chandigarh, July 1: As India’s first individual Olympic gold-medallist, Abhinav Bindra knows a thing or two about handling big-stage pressure and he has a simple piece of advice for those aiming for the podium in the upcoming Paris Games – stay in the moment and have a flexible mind.
Bindra, who won the yellow metal in men’s 10m air rifle event in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, wants Indian athletes to enjoy their time at the world’s greatest sporting extravaganza.
“I want to wish all the athletes the very best of luck. They’ve done us all proud already by giving it their all and doing consistently well over so many competitions. And now it’s their moment to shine on the world stage,” Bindra said during a meet and greet programme organised by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) here on Monday.
“The Olympics is the greatest platform to sport in the world, and the whole world is waiting to welcome them. The whole country is waiting for our athletes to do their best and make us all proud.
“I would just want them to give their best to stay in the moment, to remain flexible in mindset and just back the work that they had put in. You know, true confidence comes from the effort that has been put in over a consistent period of time, which I’m sure they have,” the 41-year-old added.
Two-time Asian Games gold-medallist and Asian champion shot putter Tajinderpal Singh Toor, who is bound for Paris, said star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra’s gold-medal winning feat in Tokyo has inspired other track-and-field athletes.
“Our athletes are performing well and they will win medals in the Olympics. Since Neeraj Chopra won the gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics, other athletes also want to win medals for their country,” he said.
Asian Games silver medallist javelin thrower Kishore Kumar Jena, who will also be participating in the Paris Olympics along side Chopra, hopes India will clinch its best-ever medal haul in athletics in Paris.
“We take pride in representing our country. It is a matter of happiness that many have qualified for the Olympics from India, and we hope to win the highest number of medals,” he said.
“The journey has not been easy, it has involved a lot of hard work, staying away from home, and practising day and night.” Jena said he is satisfied with his preparation for the Paris Games.
“Preparations are going well, and we are determined to perform at our best and give 100 per cent.
“Since 2021, I have been at the national camp in Patiala, receiving full support from the Indian government to enhance my game.”
Sprinter Hima Das, who could not take a shot at Paris qualification due to fitness issues, lauded the AFI for its unwavering support to the athletes.
“As an athlete I will say that everyone should give their best. The Athletics Federation of India has helped athletes reach this level and now it is your turn to show them your achievements,” said the athlete from Assam, who is nicknamed Dhing Express. (PTI)


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