NEW DELHI: India's only individual Olympic gold medallist shooter Abhinav Bindra on Friday said the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon will set a benchmark for other sports to follow as it is being held amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some of the world's top runners, including defending champions Andamlak Belihu and Tsehay Gemechu, both of Ethiopia, will take part in the ADHM 2020 here on Sunday.
One of the first global sporting events to be hosted by India during the COVID-19 pandemic, the half marathon will see the elite runners begin at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, while the amateurs from across the globe will join via the exclusive Mobile App.
"The ADHM 2020 is a very significant moment for Indian sports since the pandemic started. Our athletes have resumed training but we have to get them in the competitive space again," Bindra, who is the event ambassador of ADHM 2020, said during a press conference on Friday.
"This is a very important step towards resuming competitive sports in India. This event would be a benchmark for other sports to follow in the future," said the 38-year-old who won a 10m air rifle gold in 2008 Olympics.
Speaking about the amateur runners participating from remote locations, Bindra said, "This era forces us to embrace technology more and innovate more. Sports needs technology and innovation. To survive a challenging situation, we have to adapt to the situation."
Asked about his own tryst with running, Bindra said that it was a vital part of his training regime during his days as a shooter.
"I picked up the sport of shooting because I thought I didn't have to move, but to succeed in shooting, I had to run quite a bit. Running helped me to sustain pressure in a competition so it was a very important part of my training regime."
Bindra said the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon will help in uniting people.
"Bringing in more solidarity is important at the moment. Each one of the runners participating in ADHM 2020 has a good role to play in uniting people and the community," he said.