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Road to Paris would be difficult despite the victories at Olympics: Abhinav Bindra

Road to Paris would be difficult despite the victories at Olympics: Abhinav Bindra

According to Abhinav Bindra, the road to Paris will be difficult given the short Olympic cycle despite the medal haul in the Tokyo Olympics with Neeraj Chopra winning gold in javelin throw. Bindra is the first Indian to win an individual gold medal in the quadrennial showpiece. He was talking in a webinar organised by the EMLS Sports Foundation.

"It was a historic performance with the best-ever seven medals. There were moments of great triumph and heartbreaks, but that is what sport is all about. We have a good momentum now going forward. I see the next Olympics cycle will be tricky, primarily because of the shorter cycle. Normally athletes get a year post-Olympics that allows them to rest and recover, but this time around, they need to get back pretty quickly," said Bindra.

In the Tokyo Olympics held From July 23-August 8, Chopra won gold, weightlifter Mirabai Chanu won silver and also wrestler Ravi Kumar Dahiya. Shuttler PV Sindhu, boxer Lovlina Borghain, wrestler Bajrang Punia and the men's hockey team bagged bronze medals.

The postponing of the Tokyo Olympics from 2020 to 2021 due to Covid-19 shortened the cycle for Paris. The cycle was reduced from four years to three. The athletes are now faced with the challenge of having fewer qualification events and quotas. The international federations will have to schedule them so that there is enough gap between the qualifiers and other events.

Bringing in scientific methods and creating a high-performance environment at the grassroots level will be important to keep going forward, Bindra believes. "We talk about top leaderships but I think we need to get more quality in the second-level of leadership. We need to empower these people with knowledge of how to set a high-performance environment. Incorporating science, technology, engineering, analytics and medicine to athletes' training and development not just at elite level but basing it right at the grassroots level is important," the elite shooter, who won the 10m air rifle gold in Beijing 2008, said.

The country's college-level sporting system is not developed effectively enough and needs to be conducted in a more meaningful way going forward as a lot of talent is lost in the transition from junior to elite level, the 38-year-old opined.

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TAGS:Abhinav Bindra Tokyo Olympics Paris 
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