He finally has company now. “I am ecstatic,” Bindra told TOI. Abhinav won India’s first-ever individual gold on August 11, 2008, and it has been a long wait for the country to hear the national anthem play at the Olympics again. Four days before the 13th anniversary of his gold medal, Abhinav is no longer the only individual gold medallist in the country. And nobody is happier than the champion shooter himself. “For me personally, it is so liberating not to be the only one,” he added.
It was evident from his social media posts, as Abhinav expressed his joy by writing a series of tweets and a letter to Neeraj Chopra.
— Abhinav A. Bindra OLY (@Abhinav_Bindra) 1628342202000
In a video posted on Twitter, Abhinav said: “Dearest Neeraj, I know how much effort and belief has gone into your quest to be the best, to win that gold medal at your first Olympics. It was such an emotional moment for me as it was for every Indian. The world is your playground and your achievement will be a symbol of excellence, which we will always treasure. My sincerest congratulations and all my respect.”
In his letter, Abhinav wrote how difficult it is to win the top prize at the quadrennial event as the burden of expectations makes it even more tough.
“To win gold at the grandest sporting event in the world, which is held once every four years, is in itself so improbable that less than 3% of the 11,707 athletes competing in Tokyo will end up with one. Add to it the weight of expectations from an extremely proud nation starved of Olympic success, and your achievement becomes even more memorable,” he wrote in his letter.