Abhinav Bindra

Abhinav Bindra
Personal information
Nationality Indian
Ethnicity Punjabi
Born (1982-09-28) 28 September 1982[1]
Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India
Residence Zirakpur, Punjab, India
Education Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.)
Alma mater The Doon School
St. Stephen's School, Chandigarh
University of Colorado
Occupation Sportsman(Shooter), businessman
Height 173 cm (5 ft 8 in) (As of August 2011)
Weight 65.5 kg (144 lb) (As of August 2011)

Abhinav Bindra (born 28 September 1982 in Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India) is an Indian businessman and retired professional shooter who is a former World and Olympic champion in the 10 metre Air Rifle event.[1] By winning the gold in the 10 metre Air Rifle event at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, he became the first Indian to win an individual gold medal at the Olympic Games.[2] It was also India's first gold medal since 1980, when the Men's Field Hockey Team won the gold.[3][4] 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. Bindra also won the Gold Medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in 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.[5]

In May 2016, the Indian Olympics Association (IOA) appointed Abhinav Bindra as the Goodwill Ambassador for Rio 2016 Olympic Games Indian Contingent.[6]

In the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics, Bindra finished 4th in the finals of the 10 metre Air Rifle Event. On 5 September, 2016, Abhinav Bindra announced his retirement.[7]


Early years

Abhinav Bindra was born into a Punjabi family.[8] He studied at The Doon School for two years before moving to St. Stephen's School, Chandigarh; he graduated from Stephen's in 2000.[9][10] In the Kolkata Literary Meet, Bindra said that he had to get in some sports when he was in Doon School and he took up shooting reluctantly. Later, he fell in love with the sport.[11] His parents had an indoor shooting range installed at their home in Patiala, Punjab.[12][13] His mentor was Dr. Amit Bhattacharjee who has been closely associated with him since the beginning of his career.[14] Bhattacharjee and Lt. Col. Dhillon (who was also his first coach) were the first ones to spot potential in Abhinav.[15][16] Bindra was the youngest Indian participant at the 2000 Olympic Games.[13] His current coach is a five-time Olympic shooter Gabriele Bühlmann from Basel, Switzerland, with whom he trained in Germany before the Olympics.

At the 2000 Olympics, a 17-year-old Bindra achieved a score of 590, placing him 11th in the qualification round, meaning he did not qualify for the finals since only the top eight competed in the finals.[17]

Notable international performance

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.[18]

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 came back strongly and 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.[19]

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.[20] 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.[21] 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.[22] 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.[3] 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.

In 2014 Commonwealth Games at Glasgow, Abhinav Bindra again won Gold in the Men’s 10m air rifle singles event.[23]

At the 2016 Olympic Games at Rio de Janeiro, he came fourth in the Men's 10m Air Rifle singles event after losing a shoot-off for the top 3 to Serhiy Kulish, who eventually won the silver.[24]

Business career

He holds a B.B.A. (Bachelor of Business Administration) from the University of Colorado, US.[25] Bindra is the CEO of Abhinav Futuristics, the sole distributor of Walther arms in India. Abhinav has sponsorship tie-ups with Samsung, BSNL, and the Sahara Group.[12] He is also the brand ambassador by State-run Steel Authority of India Ltd. and also a member of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) Sports Committee since 2010.

Personal life

HarperSport published his autobiography, A Shot at History: My Obsessive Journey to Olympic Gold which he co-authored with sportswriter Rohit Brijnath in October 2011. It was formally released by Union Sports minister, Ajay Maken on 27 October 2011 at a function in New Delhi,[26] thereafter the book went on to receive positive reviews.[27][28] Harshvardhan Kapoor will essay the lead in Abhinav's biopic for the big screen.[29] He is the mentor and coach of air rifle shooter Pushan Jain.[30]

Bindra has remarked that he has no talent and his only talent is that he can practise regularly, diligently and honestly. He has said that he had a dream of winning the gold medal in the district level, which was his major burning desire from the very first day he started shooting practice. Everything else was just pure greed and determination and his sheer love for the sport, including his Olympic medal. According to him, his elation at winning at the district level was far more greater than winning the Olympics itself.According to him, most Indian parents do not consider sports as a profession. Bindra wants people to look up sports as a serious profession in India.[31]

Awards and recognition

Awards for 2008 Olympics Gold medal

  • 15 million (US$220,000) by Mittal Champions Trust
  • 5 million (US$73,000) cash prize by Central Govt[33]
  • 2.5 million (US$36,000) cash prize by the state government of Haryana.[34]
  • 2.5 million (US$36,000) cash prize by the Board of Control for Cricket in India[35]
  • 1.5 million (US$22,000) cash prize by Steel Ministry of India[36]
  • 1.1 million (US$16,000) cash prize by the state government of Bihar. The Patna Indoor Stadium will be renamed after Abhinav Bindra.[34]
  • 1 million (US$15,000) prize by the state government of Karnataka[37]
  • 1 million (US$15,000) cash prize by S. Amolak Singh Gakhal, Chairman Golds Gym[38]
  • 1 million (US$15,000) cash prize by Chief Minister of Maharashtra state[39]
  • 500,000 (US$7,300) cash prize by state government of Orissa[40]
  • 500,000 (US$7,300) cash prize by Government of Tamil Nadu[41]
  • 100,000 (US$1,500) cash prize by the state government of Chhattisgarh[34]
  • 100,000 (US$1,500) cash prize by the state government of Madhya Pradesh
  • A free lifetime railway pass by the Railway Ministry of India[42]
  • A Gold medal by the state government of Kerala.[43]
  • 1.5 million (US$22,000) cash award by Pune Municipal Corporation.[44]


  1. 1 2 Athlete Biography: Abhinav Bindra. The official website of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
  2. India Best21 (23 June 2016). "List of India's best Sportspeople". IndiaBest21.
  3. 1 2 Abhinav Bindra wins 10m air rifle gold
  4. Medalists – India, The official website of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
  5. Bindra, GoSports join hands to help young shooters
  6. Abhinav Bindra Goodwill Ambassador for Rio 2016 Indian Contingent
  7. "A legend rides into the sunset – Olympian Abhinav Bindra retires". 2016-09-05. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  8. "CWG 2010 Shooting | Abhinav Bindra Profile | India Hopes Medal | Commonwealth Games | Delhi – Oneindia News". News.oneindia.in. 28 September 2010. Archived from the original on 4 February 2012. Retrieved 22 November 2011.
  9. "Abhinav Bindra's schools – India". BBC News. 26 July 2010.
  10. http://www.tribuneindia.com/2008/20080812/main4.htm
  11. JOYLAND (ourjoyland.in) issue 22 June 2016, page 4
  12. 1 2 "Abhinav Bindra's parents feeling on top of the world". Hindustan Times. India. 11 August 2008. Archived from the original on 28 August 2008. Retrieved 14 August 2008.
  13. 1 2 "Abhinav Bindra Profile". iloveindia.com.
  14. Archived 7 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  15. "Bindra upset at coaches being ignored". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 23 July 2009.
  16. "Abhinav Bindra win gold in Beijing". 11 August 2008. Archived from the original on 22 August 2008. Retrieved 11 August 2008.
  17. "China grabs gold, Bindra places 11th in shooting". Rediff. 18 September 2000. Archived from the original on 2 September 2008. Retrieved 11 August 2008.
  18. "Bindra finishes seventh". Rediff. 16 August 2004. Archived from the original on 2 September 2008. Retrieved 11 August 2008.
  19. "Abhinav Bindra clinches India's first gold". The Hindu. India. 25 July 2006. Archived from the original on 14 August 2008. Retrieved 11 August 2008.
  20. India's Bindra wins gold in the Men's 10m Air Rifle from the Official Website of Beijing Olympics Archived 14 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  21. "Abhinav Bindra wins 10m air rifle gold". Rediff. 11 August 2008. Archived from the original on 12 August 2008. Retrieved 11 August 2008.
  22. A news article from Times of India dated 14 August 2008, retrieved 14 August 2008
  23. "Abhinav Bindra clinches Gold in 10m Air Rifle at Glasgow Commonwealth". IANS. news.biharprabha.com. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  24. "Abhinav Bindra misses out on men's 10m air rifle medal, settles for fourth position". Indian Express. August 8, 2016. Retrieved August 8, 2016.
  25. Ganguly, Madhumita (12 August 2008). "Abhi-nerve cures a nation's yellow fever". Calcutta, India: The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 16 September 2008. Retrieved 12 August 2008.
  26. "Maken formally launches Abhinav Bindra's biography". The Times of India. 27 October 2011.
  27. "Hitting bull's eye". Daily Pioneer. 19 November 2011.
  28. Datta, Sravasti (6 November 2011). "A shot at greatness". Chennai, India: The Hindu.
  29. http://indianexpress.com/article/entertainment/bollywood/harshvardhan-kapoor-to-play-olympic-gold-medalist-abhinav-bindra-in-his-biopic-see-photo-4830779/
  30. http://www.pushanjain.com/training
  31. JOYLAND (ourjoyland.in) issue 22 June 2016, page 4
  32. Padma Awards-2009
  33. Agencies (19 August 2008). "Central Govt to give Abhinav Bindra 50 lakhs". Express India. Archived from the original on 15 March 2012. Retrieved 22 November 2011.
  34. 1 2 3 Shooting Star: Prizes pour in as states honour Bindra
  35. BCCI chief sanctions cash award for Bindra
  36. Steel Ministry undertakings announce Rs. 15 lakh cash prize to Abhinav Bindra Archived 22 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  37. "Karnataka announces Rs 10 lakh cash award to Bindra". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 11 August 2008. Archived from the original on 22 August 2008. Retrieved 11 August 2008.
  38. "The Tribune, Chandigarh, India – Jalandhar Edition". Tribuneindia.com. Retrieved 22 November 2011.
  39. Deshmukh announces Rs 10 lakh cash prize to Bindra Archived 16 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  40. Abhinav’s Olympic Gold brings nostalgia to Orissa CM
  41. TN announces Rs 5 lakh for Bindra Archived 17 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  42. Mittal lends a hand to India's Olympic hero Archived 22 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  43. Archived 2 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  44. Desk, The (13 August 2008). "PMC announces Rs 15 lakh cash award for Abhinav Bindra | The Punekar". Punekar.in. Archived from the original on 22 January 2009. Retrieved 22 November 2011.

Further reading

  • Pradhan, Kunal (6 October 2014). "The unlikely hero". India Today. 39 (40): 75. 
Olympic Games
Preceded by
Sushil Kumar
Flagbearer for  India
Rio de Janeiro 2016
Succeeded by
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