New Delhi, August 14 : Shooter Abhinav Bindra, country's first solo gold medalist on Thursday said winning or losing doesn't matter when one gives the best.
He was addressing a press conference in New Delhi today.
"There's not much of a difference between winning and loosing. The fact that you put in your best, what gives you satisfaction and the fact that I did give that, so I am happy," said Bindra.
Twenty-five years old Bindra, who returned to New Delhi in the early hours of Thursday, won the men's 10m air rifle competition in Beijing on Monday, beating the defending Olympic champion Zhu Qinan.
It is the first ever individual gold medal to be won by India. Only field hockey team from India has won the gold in the past.
Bindra added that his gold medal would inspire India's sports authority to work harder and help in getting more medals in the Olympics.
"The Indian Olympics association and Sports Authority have their role to play. They have played their part. I am sure they can give a lot more for the Indian sports. And I hope that this gold medal will inspire them to work harder as well, so that not just one but we come back with maybe 15 medals," added Bindra.
India has won just one medal in each of the last three Olympics; Bindra said that without serious Olympics programme India won't be able to make progress.
"There's a huge difference. The difference is that every other country has a serious Olympic programme. Unfortunately we don't. Until and unless we have as serious Olympics programme supporting athletes right form the beginning from the grass root level, we will not make progress. So we have to have a serious Olympics programme," said Bindra.
The Sports Ministry is giving Olympic winners 70,900 dollars each, while the cash-rich national cricket board Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will hand over 59,000 dollars to Bindra as part of its campaign to back other sports.
Bindra has been awarded nearly 400,000 dollars in cash for his achievement. He comes from an exceedingly wealthy family, which has allowed him to spend lavish amounts on training for his sport.
As a teenager, he was eleventh in Sydney in 2000 and then reached the final in Athens only to finish seventh.
The video of Bindra's medal ceremony on YouTube received more than 70,000 views in the first 24 hours, showing what the rare sporting success meant to Indians at home and abroad.
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.
Story first published: Thursday, August 14, 2008, 19:45 [IST]
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