SINGAPORE - Singapore shooters' recent showing in regional competitions bodes well for the nation's chances on the Olympic stage, India's first individual gold medallist Abhinav Bindra said on Wednesday (May 31).
The 2008 Beijing Games air rifle champion is in town as the special guest of the Singapore Olympic Foundation-Peter Lim Scholarship and also met the national shooting team at the Singapore Sports Institute (SSI) to share tips and advice on competing at the elite level.
The Republic sent two shooters to the Rio Olympics last year - the first time that two had qualified on merit to the Summer Games - and have won a host of medals at the 2014 Asian (two bronze) and Commonwealth Games (two golds).
Speaking to The Straits Times at the SSI, Bindra said: "I saw your facilities and went to the Sports School yesterday. You have a vibrant NOC (National Olympic Council) which is doing a good work, so I think the right structures are in place. You're on the right track."
"Athletes are lucky to have access to all these facilities. I think it is a matter of continuously being patient, and persisting for a long period of time.
The 34-year-old Indian shooter picked out local athletes like 2014 Commonwealth Games 50m rifle three-positions champion Jasmine Ser and 2014 International Shooting Sport Federation Munich World Cup 10m air rifle champion Martina Veloso as those with good potential.
He said: "Jasmine is a a very established athlete and Martina is sensational. They are unbelievably talented."
During the sharing session with about 30 officials and athletes, Bindra fielded questions on his training methods, his preparations during competitions and his career.
He said: "Olympic success is not going to be done overnight, but a sustained effort for 10 to 15 years will bring you the win."