The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Indian wins world championship gold
- Abhinav Bindra defies pain to make history in Zagrab

New Delhi/Zagreb: Abhinav Bindra overcame back pain to become the first Indian shooter to win a World Championship gold in Zagreb on Monday. Dr Karni Singh’s silver in 1962 was the best by an Indian in a World Championship meet before Monday.

Bindra (picture left) shot 699.7, courtesy a superb final round, to clinch top spot in 10m air rifle. His triumph also helped him bag an Olympic berth.

Bindra, who has been suffering from a chronic back pain, immediately left for Germany to consult doctors.

Terming it as a tremendous achievement, Bindra said the first person he thought of was his mother. “Without her encouragement, I would have never achieved such a feat,” Bindra told The Telegraph shortly after his momentous feat.

Come 2008, and Bindra will be competing in his third Olympic Games. “I am in a much relaxed mood after clinching the Olympic berth and will now be able to concentrate on the mega event in Beijing,” he said.

Bindra, however, had to withdraw from the air rifle prone event in Zagreb as he had to leave for Germany.

“I will take medical advice there and go by what the doctors say,” Bindra said. There is a possibility that he may need surgery.

Coach Sunny Thomas heaped praise on Bindra, who was also the world record-holder at the junior level.

“He is a most deserving and hard-working shooter. Scorewise it was okay, but the final round was very good,” he said.

In women’s 10m air rifle, Avneet Kaur Sidhu was at fourth position with a score of 397 in the qualifications, but has already confirmed an Olympic berth. She had scores of 97, 100, 100 and 100.

India now have six Olympic quota berths with the other four coming via Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore in double trap, Manavjit Singh Sandhu in trap, Anjali Bhagwat in air rifle and Gagan Narang.

Bindra’s gold-winning feat could not lift India to a medal in the team event as they could manage a total of 1780 for a fourth-place finish.

Narang finished 31st with a score of 592 while Sanjeev Rajput was 37th with a tally of 591.

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