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No medal, but Bindra signs off as a champ

It is never easy to digest defeat. Especially for champions.

Abhinav Bindra.

“You need a bit of luck,” the 33-year-old said, all matter-of-factly. “I did my best, in the circumstances; did all that I could.” Even though he was — uncharacteristically for him — spotted spitting after a poor shot and blowing kisses at the end of the qualification round and at the start of the final, he betrayed no emotion when the end came. “Even after 20 years, I came here and was one of the best,” said Bindra with quiet pride, reflecting on a career which has seen him win two of the biggest titles that his sport has to offer: that of World Champion and Olympic champion.

Amit Bhattacharjee, Bindra’s mentor from his childhood days, has accompanied the champion to every Olympics, World Championship and international competition of any significance he has participated in. “Abhinav gave it his best shot. He set out with a clear mind to make us all proud of his achievement. In the end, it is the effort that echoes throughout the stadium,” he said.

“The arrogance of success or the depression of failure never went to his head. I am more than satisfied with his performance, because it is not always about winning medals. He has put up a good show, and I will always be proud of his performance.”

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