Atanu makes no excuse, differs with coach on disastrous show

Indian archer Atanu Das admitted that he has not been able to perform at the big stage despite having everything at his disposal.

Like a true team person, Atanu refused to blame his teammate Deepika for Friday’s defeat in the mixed event. Deepika shot a poor seven in shoot-off, which resulted in India’s defeat against lower-ranked Mongolia.   -  PTI

Blaming himself for their disastrous outing at the Asian Games, Indian archer Atanu Das on Friday admitted that he has not been able to perform at the big stage despite having everything at his disposal.

The 26-year-old from Kolkata crashed out from both individual and mixed team recurve event at the Asian Games. He was the only Indian to reach the quarterfinals in the individual event, but on Friday lost in the first round in mixed event with Deepika Kumari.

While India’s coach Sawaiyan Manjhi had said that the team did not come well prepared, Atanu called it a psychological issue.

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“Who said we have not come with the best preparation. It’s not like this. We came here four-five days before and there is no problem. I don’t want to give any excuse. Something is missing and it keeps happening. Every time new mistakes come to fore,” Das said in an interaction.

Asked to pinpoint the reason for his and recurve team’s poor show, Das said, “For me, it’s psychological, I would say.”

“When I need to hit 10, I am getting 9. Half a millimetre is making all the difference. And, that’s the game. We are working hard to cover this gap. We do not come here to lose. Last Asian Games also I lost in quarterfinals. It hurts badly, but I won’t give up until I achieve my objective.”

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Atanu said that he is not able to comprehend what is wrong with them. “If I knew exactly, I would not have suffered such results in the last two years. If I knew, I would have won a lot of medals. Everywhere, I am losing by just one point. I am trying to find out how to move forward to. I have got a clue, but I won’t share it with you.”

While the other member of the team, Vishwas, said that they struggle due to the paucity of funds, Das chose not to use money as an excuse. “I have everything that I need, but still performance is not up to mark.”

Like a true team person, Atanu refused to blame his teammate Deepika for Friday’s defeat in the mixed event. Deepika shot a poor seven in shoot-off, which resulted in India’s defeat against lower-ranked Mongolia.

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“At the start, I also hit a six, I had just dropped that shot, it just came off my hands, so I won’t blame Deepika. It’s team event, so both are responsible not one individual.”

Asked if the team needs better coaching and if an expert from abroad would be able to lift the performance of Indian archers, Das said, “If there is only the tag of a foreign coach, that won’t be enough. We need good training, whether it comes from an Indian or a foreigner, it does not make a difference. I do not have any coach after 2013 and sometimes I got to Korea for training with the help of SAI and OGQ.”