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Abhinav Bindra Says Three-Year Olympic Cycle Will Be “Tricky”


Abhinav Bindra was India’s first individual Olympic gold medallist.© Abhinav Bindra/Instagram

India’s first individual Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra on Thursday said the road to the 2024 Paris Games will be difficult and “tricky” given the shorter three-year cycle. The shooting ace also lauded the country’s performance at the recently-concluded Tokyo Olympics. “It was a historic performance with the best-ever seven medals. There were moments of great triumph and heartbreaks, but that is what sport is all about. We have a good momentum now going forward,” Bindra said while speaking at a webinar organised by ELMS Sports Foundation.

“I see the next Olympics cycle will be tricky, primarily because of the shorter duration. Normally athletes get a year post Olympics that allows them to rest and recover, but this time around they need to get back pretty quickly,” he added.

Earlier, the Tokyo Games were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic by a year and the Olympics cycle was reduced to three years, from the usual four, going into the 2024 Paris Games. The athletes will now be left with a challenge of having less qualification events and quotas.

In Tokyo, India’s javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra handed the country only its second Olympics gold in individual events. Bindra believes that bringing in scientific methods and creating a high-performance environment at the grassroots level will be critical going forward.

“We talk about top leaderships but I think we need to get more quality in the second-level of leadership. We need to empower these people with knowledge of how to set a high-performance environment.

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“Incorporating science, technology, engineering, analytics and medicine to athletes’ training and development not just at elite level but basing it right at the grassroots level is important,” the 2008 Beijing Olympic champion said.

The 38-year-old also felt the country’s college level sporting system is not developed effectively enough and needs to be played in a much more meaningful way going forward as it loses a lot of talent in the transition from junior to elite level.

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