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'Abhinav's passion helped him win'

August 12, 2008

Colonel Jagir Singh Dhillon, 74, is as amazing a sportsman as his protege Abhinav Bindra. How he shaped the destiny of India's first individual Olympic gold medallist is certainly an inspiring story.

In an exclusive conversation with Editor Sheela Bhatt, the veteran coach talks about how he honed the inherent talent of the champion marksman.

The first time I met Abhinav was on July 13, 1995, when he was brought to me by his father's friend, Rana Gurmeet Sodhi. You rarely get such children to train. His father, Apjit Bindra, told Sodhi, 'Yeh bachcha botlen todta rahta hai. Use shooting ka bahut shokh hai.' [This boy keeps breaking glass bottles everyday. He is very found of shooting].

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  • On that day Sodhi asked Abhinav's father, 'What level of training do you want to give him?'

    "I want to give him the highest levels of training; I want to make him an Olympic level sportsman," his father replied.

    Also read: Abhinav: Up, close and personal

    Photograph: Getty Images

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