Olympic champion shooter Abhinav Bindra has been conferred the sport’s highest honour by the International Shooting Sports Federation for his outstanding services to the game as the chairman of the ISSF’s Athletes Committee.
Bindra was bestowed with the Blue Cross, ISSF’s highest award. The 36-year-old, who remains India’s only individual gold medallist at the Olympics, posted pictures of the award and expressed his gratitude towards the federation on Twitter.
— Abhinav Bindra OLY (@Abhinav_Bindra) November 30, 2018
Legendary American shooter Kimberly Rhode will succeed Bindra as the chairman, it was confirmed at the Executive Committee meeting in Munich on Friday.
— Abhinav Bindra OLY (@Abhinav_Bindra) November 27, 2018
During his tenure at the post, Bindra was also awarded the President’s Button and the Diploma of Honour awards in January 2016 as an appreciation for his outstanding career as an athlete as well his role as an inspiration for shooters globally.
Bindra scripted history when he became the first Indian to win a gold at the Olympics. He clinched the top honour by winning the 10m Air Rifle event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in 2008. Bindra was also a member of the ISSF Athletes Committee from 2010 to 2014 and served as a chairman from 2014 to 2018.
Meanwhile, National Rifle Association of India president Raninder Singh was conferred with the ISSF diploma of honour gold medal by the outgoing ISSF president Olegario Vazquez Rana. The Mexican was the longest-serving president of the federation. He served for 38 years.
“The sport has grown by leaps and bounds under the able leadership of Mr Rana and it will be a tough task for whoever replaces him, to match up to the lofted benchmarks set,” Singh was quoted to have said by PTI after receiving the award.
Expressing his gratitude for the honour, Singh added, “I accept this award on behalf of the entire NRAI team, who have been tireless in their pursuit of growing the sport in India, the Government of India who have stood by us at all times and above all the shooting fraternity in the country, who are simply the very best.”