A shot in the arm

India’s quest for an Olympic medal in archery received a boost with one of the world’s renowned coaches, Lee Wang Woo of South Korea, taking charge of the National squad.

The 52-year-old professional archer-turned-golfer has been hired by the Mittal Champion Trust (MCT) for a fabulous amount and is based in Bangalore with the Trust’s archers. A regular member of the South Korean national team from 1964 to 84, Lee took to coaching in 1987. Under his tutelage, the Korean national team participated in four Olympics with distinction. Then he was put in charge of the Korean national junior team for four years.

Lee retired thereafter and became an avid golfer before he was contracted by the MCT. Lee’s contract is expected to run for at least four years initially. The Archery Association of India (AAI) has also decided to enlist his services to help the Indian archers achieve the kind of perfection their Korean counterparts have. Lee maintains that the Indians are as good as any of the other archers in the world in terms of technique and skill, but they lack in mental strength. “Indians have it in them to win an Olympic medal. What they lack is consistency. They shoot a 10-pointer and in the next probably get a six-pointer. So my task is to strengthen them mentally and train them to shoot consistently,” he said. In sport, according to Lee, the best results are achieved when one is in a happy state of mind. He is going to teach his wards to “do everything in a happy state of mind” to achieve the required results.