I am hobby shooter from now, says Abhinav Bindra

Abhinav Bindra poses with his bronze medal in Incheon
Incheon, Sept 23: After capping off his remarkable career as a full-time marksman by winning two bronze at the Asian Games here today, India's lone individual Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra said he will only be a "hobby shooter" from now on.

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Having broken the Asiad jinx with a bronze in the men's 10m air rifle individual event, after piloting the team to a third-place finish, Bindra, referring to yesterday's tweets, indicated that his career as a serious exponent was over.

"The tweet is very easy to understand, I don't know what the confusion is. I said that for twenty years I have been a professional shooter living a life where I did nothing but shoot - day in and out training my heart out. But from tomorrow, I am a hobby shooter and will train twice a week, that's it," Bindra said.

He made it clear that it was a well thought-out decision and not a spur of the moment one. "It was not a sudden decision. I don't know how I will do (as a hobby shooter) as I have always been a shooter who has given his best," he added.

Asked about the Rio Olympics, he said, "I have just answered the question, what can I say about the Rio Olympics." However, he was not emphatic whether this was his last major meet or not. "May be, I don't know," he said.

The shooter, who had won a historic gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, nurtures hopes of qualifying for the Rio Games but without the sort of dedicated effort needed to practice the art day in and out.

"I will still go to the domestic trials and see if I can make the team and I will only compete at the World Cup if I am at a certain level. I don't want to go to the World Cup shooting 620. If I am able to shoot at the level I am shooting at the moment I will make an attempt. Otherwise I will perhaps give my chance to the next person," said Bindra.

The Glasgow Commonwealth Games gold medallist, who powered the country to the team bronze in the company of teammates Sanjeev Rajput and Ravi Kumar while qualifying for the finals, shot 187.1 to take the individual honour.


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