Chandigarh, Aug 12 : As India rejoices its first ever Olympic gold medal, Abhinav Bindra's victory in the men's 10m air rifle dominated the national media's front pages on Tuesday.
Bindra's victory eclipsed everything else on television channels, which hailed it as a morale booster for a country with few global sporting stars.
Bindra had been fourth after qualifying but had a brilliant final round and the Indian, the epitome of tranquility, hit a near perfect 10.8 on his last shot to pull in front of Henri Hakkinen of Finland, who fell to bronze with a poor final shot.
While the entire nation poured onto the streets in several cities, strangers hugged each other and exchanged sweets and congratulatory messages after the victory.
Residents in his hometown Chandigarh are basking in the success of their 'own boy'.
"I am very happy that our Chandigarh boy has won. This will inspire more children from here to make it big in life," said Barjinder Singh, a resident.
"I am very happy that he started from Chandigarh and see where he has reached today. He has accomplished a feat that nobody could," said Vijay Pal Singh, another resident.
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 10.8 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.