Tata Steel Kolkata 25K Event Ambassador and 2008 Beijing Olympic gold medalist in the 10 m air rifle event Abhinav Bindra today said as an active shooting professional he runs 10 km five days a week to be at the peak of his fitness.

Here in Kolkata for the seventh edition of Tata Steel Kolkata 25K 2022, Abhinav is overwhelmed at the response from the city and wishes the participants all the best.

“It’s great to see the response in Kolkata and the enthusiasm of the people. This city is quite close to my heart. It was amazing to see that event happen again after the break. It is a very good platform to bring together people from all walks of life be it men or women,” said Bindra.

“It’s heartwarming to watch it grow year after year. It’s all about living in the moment, enjoying the experience, having fun whatever the outcome and being happy.”

“The Olympics will always have a special place in my heart. It’s about the journey we’re on. We faced ups and downs, but you need to enjoy the ride. I’m in a sport that requires cardiovascular fitness. When you are under pressure or under fire, your heart races. You can only deal with this pressure if you are physically fit. I used to spend hours in the gym keeping fit and working on my cardiovascular fitness by running 10 kms five days a week,” said Abhinav while addressing the media.

In his distinguished sporting career including a World Championships gold medal and multiple medals at the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, Bindra has seen it all. Sharing more about his experience, he said, “I am now retired. This is truly a special journey throughout my career. As well as winning medals for my country, I look back on my career very differently and from a different distance. I have developed a special relationship with my parents and competitors. Sport has taught me how to win, how to fight, how to respect your opponent.”

When we talk about the Olympics, Bindra is someone who becomes a source of inspiration for every aspiring athlete. Talking about India’s many current shooters and prospects of winning medals in the Olympics, he said, “We may not win medals in the Tokyo Olympics but I am sure we will do well in the next 2024 Paris Olympics. We have great talent in our country and I think all we can do is support them wholeheartedly. Sports have developed in India. Before we had about 200 participants in the National Shooting, now it’s about 10,000. It shows his growth.”

Talking about the ongoing Football World Cup, he said: “I support Argentina. Messi is an extraordinary player and he definitely deserves a world cup trophy before he retires.”

Report- Pratyusha Mukherjee, BBC Broadcast Journalist.

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