It was an emptiness' feeling on that podium, says Bindra

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New Delhi, Aug 14 (UNI) Michael Phelps has had five Olympic gold medals this summer and the US swimmer still gets ecstatic with every medal that he wins, but Indian marksman Abhinav Bindra looked a completely emotionless man while he stood tall on the podium and the reason for that he says is, ''it was an emptiness sort of feeling,'' once he achieved the feat.

Talking to mediapersons here today, Bindra said, ''I felt good about winning the gold medal for my country but there was an emptiness in me.'' ''I have represented my country thrice in the Olympics and once you achieve a goal for which you set up yourself for a long time, then you tend to think what next,'' Bindra said.

Bindra, who landed here late last night, met the President and the Vice President today and said he was overwhelmed with their gestures.

The 25-year-old Chandigarh lad was still looking relaxed as ever and said his achievement would help to bring hope and determination to all his fellow athletes of bringing laurels to the country.

Queried about the moment when he won the Olympic medal and was holding the golden medallion, he answered, ''I thought why on earth we could not win this medal before.'' The Indian, who had a heart stopping final round where he edged out the last edition's gold medallist, said he left no stone unturned and there was nothing more that could do in terms of training.

However, there were useful suggestions by the latest sports icon of the country, who thought that there is a vast difference in how the Indians are prepared for any given tournament as compared to their foreign counterparts.

''There is a huge difference in how the athletes in India are prepared for the Olympics and how other foreign countries prepare their athletes.

''Every country has a serious Olympic programme which we do not have and it really needs to be worked upon,'' he pointed out.

Meanwhile, Bindra's mental trainer Amit Bhattacharjee was all praise for the shooter not only for his gold medal winning feat, but also for how he followed a strict regime to achieve the goal which will inscribe his name in the Indian history.

''His calmness his mistaken by a lot of people. But this how he is, a dedicated sportsman and very down to earth as well.

''It is difficult to find a person who comes from a back injury and then gets to the best form of his life. He won the World Championship and now the Olympics,'' he said.

With a World Championship already to his name and now the Olympic champion as well, even Bindra is finding it hard to discover his next destination.

''I just want a break now. I haven't slept for last five days and I don't know the life takes me from here on,'' Bindra replied.

UNI RAR AB KP1703

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