Abhinav Bindra returns home to a rousing welcome

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Zirakpur, Punjab, Aug 16 (UNI) India's shooting star, Abhinav Bindra returned home from Beijing to a tumultuous welcome on the auspicious occasion of 'Raksha Bandhan' at his farmhouse in Chhat village, near here today.

"I am overwhelmed by this reception", he said as the residents of the village showered flower petals on their new found hero and broke into a 'bhangra'.

Despite looking tired, Abhinav who won the gold in the 10-metre air rifle event at the Beijing Olympics in a very modest manner said that he was very fortunate enough to have won the gold in his event with the blessings of all Indians.

"Our shooters are all very talented, but I guess I was fortunate to have won", he said while addressing a media conference at his farmhouse alongwith his father, Dr A S Bindra and mother, Babli Bindra.

Asked about his future plans, the ace shooter said that for the time being he would like to rest. " However then I will rethink, guess will be back to shooting practice", he added.

Regarding the shooting coaches in India, Abhinav was of the opion that they are equally talented as their foreign counterparts.

" I guess they can do better with further exposure at the international level", he added.

India would have to take Olympic sports seriously and make it a priority. if medals are to be won, he said and added that a country cannot be recognised as a sports power until and unless "you win 30 to 40 medals". India should take inspiration from China's success in the field of sport, he added.

Regarding cricket, Abhinav very modestly admitted that it was the most popular sport in the country. " Give a little bit of thought to promote other sporting activities also", he added in a low voice.

"I would like to lead a normal life, as it was before Beijing", he said when asked whether his achivement would bring about a change in his life.

UNI HS VN1751

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