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Indian Gold Medalist Says He 'Just Went For It'


India has captured its first-ever Olympic gold medal in an individual event, thanks to the steady aim of Abhinav Bindra in the 10-meter air rifle event, Monday. VOA's Jim Stevenson has more on the accomplishment.

Newspapers across India are telling residents of the world's second most-populous nation about Abhinav Bindra and his winning performance at the Beijing Olympics.

No single athlete from India had ever captured an Olympic gold medal. The country's last team gold was won 28 years ago, in men's field hockey. Bindra says his title could have easily gone to another shooter.

"I just went for it. It went my way and that is just about it," he said. "I mean, on another day somebody else would have won it. On another day, somebody else could have easily won it. But today was my day."

Bindra won the air rifle world championship 2006. A back injury forced him to withdraw from the Asian Games in Doha, later that year.

Bindra's win is the only Olympic highlight for India since it dominated men's field hockey from 1928 through 1956, winning six consecutive Olympic titles. Two more team titles came in 1964 and 1980. But the program has degraded to the point where India's field hockey team failed to qualify for Beijing.

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