Mumbai: India’s first individual Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra praised the country’s performance in Tokyo calling it ‘spirited’, but warned that the road to Paris would be difficult due to the shorter Olympic cycle.
“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,” Bindra stated during a webinar organized by ELMS Sports Foundation.
“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, who won shooting gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
The Tokyo Olympics was originally scheduled for 2020 but got postponed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympics, the Olympic cycle was reduced to three years. The athletes will now have to contend with fewer qualification events and quotas.
The Olympic Games is truly the greatest and grandest theatre of authentic emotions ! https://t.co/5lW52CmfTx
— Abhinav A. Bindra OLY (@Abhinav_Bindra) August 12, 2021
“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 the elite level but basing it right at the grassroots level is important,” he added.
The 38-year-old still felt that the country’s college sports system isn’t well-developed enough and it needs to be played in a much more meaningful way in the future, as we lose a lot of talent in the transition from junior to elite levels.
On August 7, Bindra got a company when Neeraj Chopra clinched an Olympics gold in Tokyo topping the podium in the men’s javelin event. The result also propelled Neeraj to World No.2 in the rankings.