New Delhi, Aug 13 (UNI) Latest heartthrob of the nation Abhinav Bindra, who realised the dream of millions by winning the Gold medal at the Beijing Olympics, arrived to a tumultuous welcome here tonight amidst loud cheers from his frenzied fans.
''It is a proud moment for me to win a gold for my country,'' were the first few words of Bindra after his arrival at Indira Gandhi International Airport.
Bindra, who arrived at 0100 hours here, was received by his family along with tight security and close to 200 people who had gathered to see their hero's home coming.
In a heart stopping final, Bindra produced an effort in the 10m Air Rifle event that people of the country will remember for eternity as he clinched the first individual gold medal for India in the ongoing Beijing Games.
The 'Golden Boy' Bindra not only silenced his critics in India who had virtually written off the medal hopes for the country at the Olympics, but has also emerged as an icon for the youth who would not think twice to take up a sport other than cricket.
While his other compatriots failed to live up to the expectations, Bindra took forward the Indian challenge and aggregated a total of 700.5 which included 596 points in the qualifying round and 104.5 points in the final round to edge past Athens Olympics' gold medallist Zhu Qinan.
The last time Indian flag went up in the Games was in Moscow in 1980 when men's hockey team won the gold and 28 years later Bindra changed the face of Indian Olympic sports for ever.
The champion received the Gold from Princess Nora of Liechtenstein.
From being the youngest shooter in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Bindra has since traversed a long way.
He missed the last Asian Games in Doha to improve his back, but after that he worked really hard for the Olympics which is the pinnacle of every competition.
UNI CS/RAR MP PM0222