Ex-Olympian's pat for Abhinav

Chennai, Aug 11 (UNI) Former Olympian V Baskaran today hailed young marskman Abhinav Bindra for winning the first-ever individual Gold for India in Beijing Olympics and wanted the Indian Government to declare one-day national holiday to celebrate it.

''This is the spark we need. Abhinav has given the spark.This will lead to many more medals,'' said Baskaran, a member of the Indian Hockey Team, that won the Gold in the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

Since then, India has not a won a Gold for the last 28 years.

''It's a great achievement. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should declare a National Holiday for Sports in honour of Abhinav's feat,'' he said.

''When we are declaring holiday for all sorts of things, the Prime Minister should declare a holiday for sports as this is a great achievement and the first-ever individual gold in Olympics,'' Baskaran said.

He also recalled how Cameroon celebrated for entering the Quarterfinals in World Cup Football a few years back.

Baskaran said Abhinav's achievement would be an eye-opener for all people in India who were not watching sports. ''Now more people will watch Olympic events on TV.'' Since he had won the gold on the third day itself of the event, more people would now be glued to TV sets to watch India's performance.

Abhinav's performance would spur the fellow members of the Indian contingent to do well.

''Shooting events are still there. We can expect a medal from Rathore. I am happy that Saina Nehwal has entered the badminton singles quarterfinals upsetting fourth seed and World No 6 Wang Chen of Hong Kong. She is a good medal prospect.

In archery, India can do well in individual events. We can expect more medals from Indian members, There is medal hopes in tennis, Baskaran said.


Story first published: Monday, August 11, 2008, 13:36 [IST]
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