From The Hindu, Nov 9:
NEW DELHI: “Abhinav Bindra is a master of suffering,” is the most unexpected declaration from his German coach Gabriele Buhlmann. (Shooter Bindra won India’s first-ever individual gold medal at the Olympics.)
In the Capital along with another of Abhinav’s long-time coach Heinz Renkleimier, Buhlmann reflected on the shooter’s approach during the closing moments of the Olympic final in Beijing and said, “He was mentally prepared to suffer (had he not won it). Others may have made it through patience and motivation but Abhinav made it through suffering.”
Abhinav confessed that his gesture of clenching the fist after the final shot of 10.8 in the medal round was not in anticipation of claiming the gold but for finishing the final well.
“I knew I had done well. I was not sure of the gold because I had started the final with a two-point deficit and others were not shooting too badly.
“I was not sure whether there would be a tie-shoot. But it gave me a lot of satisfaction to shoot well in the final. Winning the gold was another point,” said the country’s lone Olympic gold medallist.
Buhlmann, who was the first one to congratulate Abhinav in Beijing, said, “I knew he was proud of what he had shot. He asked me whether there could be a tie-shoot. But it was his day.
“In shooting, you can shoot well and still not win the gold. So it is important that everything falls in place on the big day.”
Renkleimier was of the view that “shooting a good final shot means doing half the job. Even a machine cannot always shoot 10.9 (the maximum). So when you do as well as Abhinav did in Beijing, you have every reason to feel proud of the performance. But you cannot go hysterical. You have to remain calm till it is finally over.”
In two weeks’ time, a book co-authored by Abhinav, Gabriele and Renkleimier will be out. Titled ‘Ways of the Rifle,’ the 250-page hardbound book is aimed at making things simple for those who take up rifle shooting.
“When I was learning shooting, there was no such book for beginners. So we all thought of putting together all the technical aspects and psychological aspects of rifle shooting,” explained Abhinav.