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My fame will be short-lived: Abhinav

Onkar Singh in Delhi | August 27, 2008 17:51 IST

Abhinav Bindra [Images], who at the Beijing [Images] Olympics [Images] earned India its first individual gold medal, says the fame that came along with his gold medal from the 10 metres Air Rifle competition at the just-concluded Games will be short-lived as people will soon forget about it.

He made the observation during a conversation with rediff.com, at a felicitation function organised by Samsung, sponsors of the Indian Olympics contingent, in New Delhi [Images] on Tuesday evening.

The Indian contingent returned from the Games with three medals -- Abhinav's gold in shooting and two bronze medals from pugilist Vijender Kumar and wrestler Sushil Kumar.

"Yes, I feel that my fame will be short-lived; soon I will be forgotten. If the fame lasts longer, it could be just 20 days most. Already I have started fading out," said Abhinav, who received Samsung's 'Most Valued Performance' award of Rs 25 lakh.

Samsung also presented Vijender [Images] and Sushil Rs 10 lakh each.

Abhinav said though he does not have anything definite in mind, he hopes to use his new status to raise the profile of Olympics disciplines in the counrty.

Lauding the efforts of Sushil and Vijender, he said it is vital that the momentum gained in Beijing is maintained.

''We won three medals but that also means there is a lot of responsibility to keep the momentum going,'' he said.

His mother Babli Bindra thanked the Almighty for her son's success at the Games.

Replying to a question, she insisted that marriage is certainly not on Abhinav's mind at the moment, "though, like always, we will support him in what he wants to do," she added.

Abhinav's father Dr A S Bindra, however, engaged Raja Randhir Singh, secretary-general of the Indian Olympic Association, in intense conversation, wanting to know why letters from him and his son to the IOA went unanswered.

If that was not enough, there was another jolt in store for the IOA as the three medalists only thanked Samsung for their generosity, forgetting to acknowledge IOA president Suresh Kalmadi's rewards of Rs 25 lakh for Bindra and Rs10 lakh each to Vijender and Sushil, besides Rs 500,000 to each of those who made it to the quarter-finals or finished in the top eight in their respective disciplines.


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