Chandigarh, Aug 19 : Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal felicitated the country's first ever solo Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra on Monday with a cash award of rupees ten million.
Badal described winners like Bindra as priceless, and added that money was just an incentive to motivate the younger generation.
Bindra thanked the Punjab Government for their gesture and said that he was proud to be a Punjabi.
As a teenager, he was eleventh in the Sydney Olympiad in 2000 and then reached the final in Athens in 2004, only to finish seventh.
Bindra had been fourth after qualifying but had a brilliant final round and he 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 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.