Archers Atanu Das, Deepika Kumari train at home

Das, who secured three bronze medals at the Asian Archery Championships in Bangkok in November 2019, has never sat without a competition for such a long period.

Archer Atanu Das practising short targets at his home in Kolkata.

A monotonous life during the lockdown may have denied sportspersons the excitement of travelling and competing in events, but World championships silver medallist archer Atanu Das is looking at the brighter side of a restrained lifestyle.

Das, who secured three bronze medals at the Asian Archery Championships in Bangkok in November 2019, has never sat without a competition for such a long period.

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Nevertheless, he relies on his mental fortitude. “It’s a mental state. I am ready, I can compete any time. First, everything should become normal after getting out of the spell of COVID-19,” Das told Sportstar.

Deliberating a question on why Indian archers were often said to be lacking mental toughness in bigger events, Das said, “Mental toughness gets built by taking part in competitions. Indians participate in very less competitions in comparison to top foreign archers. We don’t even know about many events happening around the world. We only go to a select few. The more you play, the tougher you become.

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“The good thing about the lockdown is that the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and the Archery Association of India (AAI) are keeping in touch, caring about our needs and tracking our progress. Hope things will improve in future.”

The 28-year-old Olympian – who along with Tarundeep Rai and Pravin Jadhav claimed Olympic quota places by bagging a team silver medal in the World championships in Den Bosch last year – has learnt a few lessons during the lockdown.

“Lockdown has taught us discipline, practices like social distancing and being patient for your turn. It has taught us to value whatever we have – not only things, but also (domestic) help. We understand the importance of our family. A lot of distractions (which we used to have) have come down. It is teaching us how to be happy with whatever we have.”

Deepika Kumari is also training alongside fiancé Atanu Das. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

 

The Kolkata-based archer, who lives with his parents and fiancée and ace archer Deepika Kumari (who has also secured an Olympic quota place), spends his day in meditation, yoga, fitness and shooting at a short target inside home.

Das acknowledged that training with an international archer like Deepika helped. “It’s a big plus point that we train together. We share our experience with each other and we have the same goal,” said Das.