Indians shun journeymen tag in Beijing Olympics

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{image-bindra with medal_24082008.jpg}Beijing, Aug 24: India, the second most populas nation finally made their mark in the mother of all sporting events-Oly with a hall of three medals in Beijing Games is a "historic breakthrough" for the country according to analysts in Beijing, who consider shooter Abhinav Bindra's gold equal to that of Chinese sharpshooter Xu Haifeng, who won the first gold for the communist giant in 1984.

"The first individual gold for India in the history of Olympics is a historic breakthrough and augurs well for the country's future," former Chinese Ambassador to India, Cheng Ruisheng said. "I consider Bindra's gold medal as important as that of Xu," Cheng, who is now a visiting professor at the Institute of South Asian Studies at the Sichuan University, said. Xu, a 50 metre pistol shooter had won the first gold medal for China in the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics. Enthused by Xu's historic performance, China has made impressive strides at the Olympics, topping the medals chart at the 2008 edition.

"I am sure other Indian athletes will get inspired by Bindra's success in Beijing and will try to emulate him," Cheng, who was the Chinese Ambassador to India from 1991 to 1994, said.

The view of the former Chinese ambassador to India was also echoed by another leading South Asian scholar, Professor Ma Jiali, who described Bindra's success in Beijing as "a key breakthrough for the world's second most populous nation".

"It is a historic achievement for India and it would contribute to the growth of India's comprehensive national strength," said Ma, who works with the China Institutes for Contemporary International Relations, a major Chinese think-tank.

Ma said Chinese people were happy to share the glory achieved by India at the Beijing Olympics.

Qin Gang, spokesman of the Chinese Foreign Ministry and several other Chinese diplomats warmly applauded India's best-ever performance at the Olympics.

Bindra shot his way into history in the 10m Air Rifle event with a gold while Sushil Kumar and Vijender Kumar earned a bronze each in wrestling and boxing for the nation, marking India's best-ever performance in the history of the quadrennial event.

Indian Ambassador to China, Nirupama Rao also aired similar views and said Bindra's success at the Beijing Games should serve as a powerful inspiration for millions of young sports personnel in the country.

"The dedication and commitment to his sport that Abhinav (Bindra) symbolises and the success he has achieved should serve as a powerful inspiration to millions of our young countrymen and women," Rao said.

Speaking at a ceremony held in honour of the visiting Indian Olympic delegation, Rao said, "I hope that his (Bindra's) success will open the way for more Olympic champions from India."

"He has brought glory to our country, and we salute his achievement," she said even as the Indian community in Beijing also expressed their joy over the nation's best-ever performance at the Olympics.

OneIndia News

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