11 August 2008

A shot-by-shot Account of How Abhinav Bindra Shot The Gold

Event: 10m AIR RIFLE
Distance: 10 metres (10.9 yd)
Rifle: 4.5 mm (0.177 in) calibre air rifle
Maximum weight: 5.5 kg (12.1 lbs)

Qualification to Finals:
The course of fire is 60 shots within 105 minutes for men. During this phase a maximum of 10 points are awarded for each shot. The top eight shooters reach the Finals.

Bindra had qualified fourth for the finals with a scoring sequence of 100, 99, 100, 98, 100 and 99, making it 596/600.

His nearest competitors, Finland's Henri Hakkinen qualified first for the event with a score of 598/600 after shooting a series of 100, 100, 99, 100, 100 and 99.China's Qinan Zhu was third, a point adrift of Hakkinen with a series of 100, 100, 100, 100, 99 and 98.


The top eight shooters in the finals shoot 10 shots – each scored to a maximum of 10.9, depending upon their position on the target.The cumulative score of the qualification and the finals decides the final winner.Each shot has a time limit of 75 seconds.

The 8 shooters lined up as the Chinese official counted down to the first shot.All eyes were on the Chinese Quinan, Finnish Hakkinen and India's Bindra.The Indian was 2 points behind the leader.

1st Shot:
The 1st shot is usually the most crucial shot because the heart beat rates are as high as 145-150 beats/second and it is very crucial to keep the early chills in control and strike a telling blow.And Bindra did just that.He shot a stunning 10.7 and announced his entry.A 10.7 means almost at the dead center of the bulls eye(10.9 being the perfect bulls eye).

Zhu opened with 10.2 and Henri with 10.1.

Henri : 608.1
Zhu : 607.2
Bindra: 606.7

2nd shot
Bindra with his great first shot broke into the top three.As the second shot was announced, he shot quicly and scored a decent 10.3.Zhu and Henri followed up with 10.0 and 10.2.

Henri : 618.3
Zhu : 617.2
Bindra: 617

3rd shot
Two shots down and Bindra was within 0.2 points of the second position.Henri from Finland, seeing his lead diminishing shot a telling 10.5.Bindra followed with a 10.4.Zhu lost his concentration and shot a disappointing 9.9.Its amazing that you hit bulls eye but end up being disappointed.

Henri : 628.8
Bindra: 627.4
Zhu : 627.1

4th shot
For the first time, Bindra took the second spot ahead of the Chinese Zhu.The fifth shot was crucial as he wanted to consolidate his position. And he did just that with a 10.5.Zhu followed with a 10.2 and Henri with a weak 10.0.

Henri : 638.8
Bindra: 637.9
Zhu : 637.3

5th shot
with the difference coming down to less than a point, Bindra was keen on narrowing the margin.He shot a cool 10.5 surpassing the 10.1 and 10.2 from the Chinese and the Finnish.

Henri : 649
Bindra: 648.4
Zhu : 647.4

6th shot
Bindra was now two shots away from lead and Zhu was trailing far behind.Showing great composure, he shot a third successive 10.5.Zhu, the last year champion shot back with a massive 10.7.Henri lost ground further with a 10.3.

Henri : 659.3
Bindra: 658.9
Zhu : 658.1

7th shot
This could be the shot that takes Bindra in the top spot.The referee counted down and the Chinese shot a 10.1. The Finnish came up with a 10.0. And Abhinav, keeping all his cool, struck a magnificent 10.6 to snatch the 1st place! As the results tof the 7th shot are announced, a roar came from the Indian Contingent sitting in the stands.The 25 year old Indian lad was three shots away from creating sporting history for India.So this is how it stood:

Bindra: 669.5
Henri : 669.3
Zhu : 668.3

8th shot
With Abhinav in the lead, their was visible tension mounting everywhere.A bad shot here could shatter the dream of a lifetime.It was very important for Bindra to strike good here.Zhu came up with a 10.6.He was adamant on giving the Indian a tough fight. Henri sort of lost it in the intense battle, he scored a 10.1.All eyes were now on Bindra.The Rifle shot, and the scorecard showed a 10.0.Among gasps and fears, everyone quickly looked down to the consolidated table.

Bindra: 679.5
Henri : 679.4
Zhu : 678.9

9th shot
With only a point clear of the Finnish Henri, Bindra looked to seal it off in the 9th shot.He took up his gun, aimed and oh G0d! 10.2. This was nail biting stuff.All eyes were now on Henri.A good shot here and it could be curtains. He shot immediately afterwards, and it was a 10.3! In the background, Zhu continued to climb up, he scored a 10.4. A look at the table:

Bindra: 689.7
Henri : 689.7
Zhu : 689.3

10th shot
God!! It came up to the last shot. One good shot, and he could become the first Indian to win a Gold in an individual event in Olympic history ever, a bad shot would land him a silver.For a success hungry India, a silver is as good as a Gold, but as some say, 'you don't win the silver, you lose the Gold'. Being the best in the world is an entire different level in itself, and Bindra knew i t well.He did not want the Silver.He remembered Athens, where he missed out by a whisker, he remembered all the hardwork and training he had done for this one very moment.
As he took up his rifle to shoot for the last time, little did he know that their would be millions watching eagerly back home in the early morning hours, hoping and praying for the bulls eye.He could just not falter.The rifle came up to his shoulder.The eyes wide open, Bindra shot. The pellet came out aiming for the center, taking with itself the hopes of a billion people.

All eyes moved to the scoring screen.A breath later a cross came up. And History was Created!
The cross was right in the center of the bulls eye, an unbelievable 10.8, an almost perfect score.The Indian contingent stood up with a roar, they knew their lad had done it.They waited for Henri, who lost it with a dismal 9.7, and Zhu.The moment his score came up, the stands erupted with jubilation and India had won its first medal at Beijing, and a Gold at that.

In the grueling half hour, Abhinav smiled for the first time as he took off his jacket.He knew that he had created history, a victory not only he, but generations of Indians will cherish and take inspiration from!Just savor the moment below, Indian national Anthem on Chinese Soil...


  1. man, that was a thrilling account of how Abhinav got the gold, he really created history today.Many congratulations to him !!!

  2. Abhinav, u have really done India proud!! God bless you.

    Gr8 job man, u really did write an amazing blow by blow account

  3. vaneet great job man.You have really recreated the the magic moments perfectly.I really liked ur discription of the 10th shot.Kudos Abhinav!!

  4. gr8 victory for Abhinav and India. I guess this medal will help all our budding sportsmen to overcome the the perennial inferiority complex and pave way for great successes in the future

    vaneet: Good job done. The video of the national Anthem in Beijing is heart rendering!