Abhinav Bindra on Thursday said India will go into the upcoming Tokyo Olympics as the “favourites” in shooting, with its strongest-ever squad.
Asked whether India were favourites going into the Olympics in shooting, Bindra told PTI, “Of course, there is no question about that.”
“If you look at the ranking list, we have multiple people at world number one or in the top two three (ranks), so that says something.”
The 37-year-old Bindra remains India’s only individual gold medallist at the Olympics, having bagged the yellow metal at the Beijing Games in 2008.
Indian shooters’ fine run in recent years was not lost on him.
“A lot of events we start as favourites. Last season, we won the maximum amount of World Cup medals, so what does that say, we are favourites and we can’t shy away from that.
“We have to acknowledge that and appreciate that, appreciate all the good work they have done and keep going,” added Bindra.
He made history when he claimed an individual gold medal in 10-meter air rifle in the Chinese capital nearly 12 years ago.
Looking ahead to the Indian shooters, he said, “Of course, there has been immense amount of success in the past years, we have all young athletes winning medals at the highest level, so that is wonderful to see.
“Going into the Games, there is immense amount of potential (which) has been validated by success. It is perhaps our strongest (shooting) contingent going into the Games,” noted Bindra.
Various sporting events are being either cancelled or postponed due to the coronavirus epidemic across the globe.
Countries like Bahrain, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, North Korea and Turkmenistan have already pulled out of the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi.
Asked what should be the athlete’s approach in such a scenario, Bindra said the athletes need to adapt to different situations.
“They have to keep it that way, they can’t focus on that (developments related to coronavirus). What they need to do is learn to adapt, when you perform at the highest level, you have to learn to adapt to different situations.
“Because situations in sports always change, so my advise to them would remain flexible in mindset, adapt to the situation, changing environment and changing scenario,” he said.
Bindra hoped he would not remain the country’s only individual Olympic gold medallist by the time the Tokyo Games end.
“I am hopeful that I will not be the only gold medallist in a few month’s time,” he signed off.
Meanwhile, Raghav Gupta, who is the founder and CEO of Fanatic, said that demand for tickets for the Tokyo Olympics is more than cricket World Cups.