The world's second most populous nation, India came into the 2008 Olympics with a total of eight gold medals ever. All eight of them in men's hockey. The last of them in 1980. India had never, ever, produced an individual gold medallist.
Stand up, Abhinav Bindra. On Monday he won the 10 metre air rifle shooting event to become India's first individual gold medallist.
Press Trust of India reports that Bindra has an air-conditioned shooting range with a totally computerised Target Transportation System of international standards at the family farmhouse in Chhatvir, 15km from Chandigarh. Wikipedia is keeping track of all the prizes, in cash and kind, bestowed on Bindra since his victory. I do wonder, however, why the BCCI is giving him Rs 2.5 million. Your IPL megabucks at work??
Oh, and Bindra is a lenovoolympicgamesblogger, albeit powered by Google.
So that makes nine gold medals all-time for India. One in front of the Phelpster, who racked up his eighth in an absolutely scintillating 4 x 100 freestyle final. Maybe it's time to start cheering on the opposition in all of his races from here on in. Beating His Phelpness would be an honour to treasure.
Oh and a Mrs Trickett of Queensland won Australia's second gold medal of 2008 in the 100 butterfly. We've done slightly better than India over the years, though not so at hockey. Jessica Schipper won bronze after a pre-final zipper drama. Speedo claim it's nothing to do with them.