Three-year Olympic cycle will be tricky: Abhinav Bindra
India's first individual Olympic gold medalist Abhinav Bindra on Thursday said the road to the 2024 Paris Games will be difficult and "tricky" given the shorter three-year cycle. He was speaking at a webinar organized by ELMS Sports Foundation. The shooting ace and 2008 Beijing Olympic champion also lauded the country's performance at the recently-concluded Tokyo Olympics.
It was a historic performance: Bindra
"It was a historic performance with the best-ever seven medals. There were moments of great triumph and heartbreaks, but that is what sports is all about. We have a good momentum now going forward," Bindra said.
This time athletes need to get back pretty quickly: Bindra
He said, "Next Olympics cycle will be tricky because of the shorter cycle. Normally athletes get a year post-Olympics to rest, but this time around they need to get back pretty quickly." 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.
Scientific methods at the grassroots level will be critical: Bindra
The athletes will now be left with the challenge of having fewer qualification events and quotas. In Tokyo, javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra handed the country only its second Olympics gold in individual events. The celebrated shooter believes that bringing in scientific methods and creating a high-performance environment at the grassroots level will be critical going forward.
'We need to get more quality in second-level of leadership'
"We talk about top leaderships but 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," Bindra said. "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," he added.
Country's college-level sporting system hasn't been effectively developed: Bindra
Bindra 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.