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Abhinav Bindra (Punjabi:, born September 28, 1982) : is an Indian shooter from Zirakpur, in Mohali district, (near Chandigarh), Punjab and is the current World and Olympic champion in the 10 m Air Rifle event. He became the first Indian to win an individual Gold medal at the Olympic Games and the first gold medal since 1980 for India by winning the gold in the 10 m Air Rifle event at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. His gold medal winning performance, led several government and private organizations to announce monetary awards which currently total Rs. 2 crores (approximately $500,000).

Early years:

Abhinav Bindra comes from an affluent Sikh Khatri family. His parents, Dr. Apjit and Babli Bindra, are promoters of the Hitech Group of companies which has a turnover of Rs. 300 crores (US $75 million) with interests in agro- and meat-processing, computer gaming, livestock genetics and pharmaceuticals.

He studied at the Doon School, Dehradun till the 10th standard and then left for St. Stephens School, Chandigarh to pursue shooting. He did his MBA from the United States of America.

He did his shooting training in Germany.[citation needed] He practised for 12-14 hours a day at the shooting range that he owns at his farmhouse near Chandigarh.[citation needed].

International performance

He won six gold medals at various international meets in 2001.

In the 10 m Air rifle event at the 2002 Commonwealth Games, Manchester, he won Gold in the Pairs event and Silver in the individual event.

At the 2004 Olympic Games, he scored 597 in the qualification round and was placed third behind Qinan Zhu (599 - Olympic Record) and Li Jie (598). In the finals, Abhinav finished with 97.6 points, last in the field of eight and was the only player below 100 points. His sub-par finals dropped him from third to seventh.

At the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, he won the Gold in the Pairs event and the Bronze in the Singles event. Abhinav missed the 2006 Asian Games at Doha because of a back injuiry.

2008 Beijing Olympics

Bindra booked his place in the 2008 Olympics by winning the gold medal at the 2006 ISSF World Shooting Championships with a score of 699.1

At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Abhinav Bindra won the gold for the Men's 10m Air Rifle final after shooting a total of 700.5. He scored 596 (fourth) in the qualifying round and out-scored all other shooters in the finals with a round of 104.5. In the finals, he started with a shot of 10.7, and none of his shots were below 10.0.Bindra was tied with Henri Häkkinen heading into his final shot. Bindra scored his highest of the finals - 10.8 (A Bullseye) while Hakkinen came with 9.7 to settle for Bronze medal.

This was India's first individual gold medal at the Olympics, and the first gold in 28 years, since the Men's Hockey team won the gold at the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

Awards and recognitions

2000 - Arjuna award.

2001 - Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna (India's highest sports award).

Business career

Abhinav Bindra holds an M.B.A. (Masters in Business Administration) from the University of Colorado, US. He is the CEO of Abhinav Futuristics, a PC games peripherals distributor based in Chandigarh.

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