Komalika Bari stresses on resilience ahead of Asian Archery Championship

Komalika Bari and Ankita Bhakat, who won the gold medal at the Archery World Cup stage in Guatemala and Paris, will team up for the championship in Dhaka.

Komalika Bari, along with Ankita Bhakat, Ridhi Phor and Madhu Vedwan constitute the Indian women's recurve team set to compete in Dhaka. (File Photo)   -  GETTY IMAGES

The Indian archery team is aiming to finish 2021 on a successful note at the Asian Archery Championship to be held in Dhaka, Bangladesh, from November 13 to November 19.

Komalika Bari, a highly rated member of the recurve team, highlighted the importance of resilience in athletes ahead of the tournament.   

“We, as athletes, need to put in more to maintain our physical (strength),” the 19-year-old archer said. The Jamshedpur-born archer matched fellow Jharkhand archer Deepika Kumari's feat of successive world titles when she became the U-21 recurve champion in Wroclaw, Poland, this year.

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"When we have continuous competitions, it affects strength in our arms and legs and we are not able to do enough physical training. As a result, the power eventually goes down and that leads to weaknesses and fatigue issues after shooting,” said Bari, who was last seen in action in the 40th NTPC National Senior Archery Championships in October, where she won a mixed-team gold medal with Jayanth Talukdar, and an individual silver.   

Bari, along with Deepika Kumari and Ankita Bhakat, failed to qualify for the recurve women’s team event at the Tokyo Olympics. 

Karanbir Singh, the sports psychologist of the team, said pressure management in tight schedules and coping skills were very important for archers.

“When archers participate in frequent tournaments with less gaps, recovery time for them, both physical and mental, becomes very important. Though that becomes a challenge for us, it depends on the athletes how easily or how late they take to recover," he told Sportstar.   

“For lead athletes, for example, who travel frequently for international tournaments, this becomes a habit and they often get used to it. So, though the schedule puts the athletes under pressure, it also makes them resilient,” said Singh. 

On the constant element of pressure associated with the precision sport, Singh said, “We have pressure management techniques, arousal control and we also work on other factors such as high levels of confidence, motivation and positive mindset." 

Bari and Bhakat, who won the gold medal at the Archery World Cup stage in Guatemala and Paris, will team up for the championship in Dhaka.   

Deepika Kumari missed out in the ranking round at fourth, and Madhu Vedwan and Ridhi Phor made the contingent.  

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“With Ridhi di (Ridhi Phor), we competed at the World Archery Championship, so the chemistry is quite good with her, and Madhu di (Madhu Vedwan) has been with us for a long time because she has been part of the world cups,” said Bari. “So, it isn’t a case that we will be teaming up with strangers.” 

India will look to beat archery powerhouse Korea in Dhaka. The Indian team has trained ahead of the event at the Tata Archery Academy in Jamshedpur and is scheduled to leave for Dhaka on Thursday. 

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