Dedicate gold medal to soldiers: Father to Abhinav

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New Delhi/Chandigarh, Aug 12: Abhinav Bindra's father, A S Bindra, wants his son to dedicate his prestigious gold medal to the country's soldiers. "Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has invited Abhinav. I would suggest him to dedicate this medal to the soldiers of the country," said A S Bindra, Abhinav's father.

A successful businessman who has provided his son with an air-conditioned shooting range where he can train, A S Bindra welcomed all to his home in Chandigarh on Monday, Aug 11 and offered sweets to well wishers. The family had held a special prayer on Sunday and brought out a newspaper advertisement urging people to pray for their son. Bindra's victory eclipsed everything else on TV channels, which hailed the achievement as a morale booster for a country with few global sporting stars.

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People poured onto the streets in several cities, strangers hugged each other and exchanged sweets and congratulatory messages after the victory.

As the shooter fixed his gaze on the final target, the moment condensed the hopes of an entire nation starved of a solo Olympics gold.

He hit a near perfect 10.8m in a brilliant final shot to pull ahead of Henri Hakkinen of Finland, who stumbled in his last shot allowing China's Zhu Qinan, the favourite, to take the silver.

India had only won four individual medals, none of them gold, since sending their first team to the Summer Games in 1928.

The men's hockey team has won the Olympic tournament eight times, but the last time was in 1980.


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