Tokyo Olympics: All you need to know about Atanu Das

Archery in Tokyo Olympics: Here's everything you need to know about Atanu Das, the Indian archer who made it to the pre-quarterfinals in the men's individual event after defeating South Korean Olympic medallist Oh Jinhyek.

Atanu Das and Deepika Kumari are among just four archers who have made it to the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.   -  Biswaranjan Rout

Indian archer Atanu Das pulled off a stunning yet nervous victory over South Korea's Olympic gold medallist Oh Jinhyek to move to the pre-quarterfinals of the men's individual event in the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday.

He joins his wife and fellow archer Deepika Kumari as the only two Indians left in contention in their individual categories.

All you need to know:

Atanu Das

Ranking: 9

Form guide: 2021: Gold in men’s individual event, Bronze in mixed team event at World Cup-I, Guatemala; Gold in mixed team event in World Cup-III in Paris; 2019: Silver medal in World championships men’s team event, Netherlands; Bronze in men’s team event and Bronze in mixed team event in Asian championships, Thailand.

Atanu Das has taken his time to realise his potential but is considered one of the best in the world at present. The Kolkata based archer, belonging to a humble background, began his journey at a neighborhood club,  Kolkata Archery Club, in the northern part of the city. His father Amit Das says he took a risk in putting Atanu in archery but his son showed promise early.

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Atanu Das   -  Getty Images



Atanu’s school – Narendranath Bidya Mandir, Baranagar – helped by letting him go at 2pm every day and train for four hours daily. Atanu began with a bamboo bow, but showed promise. Sanjib Dey, a senior archer from the club and Atanu’s mentor, says he never saw an archer shooting 350-plus scores with a bamboo bow. Amit purchased a second hand recurve bow for his son and Atanu shone even with that, securing individual and team gold medals in the National sub-junior championships in 2007. Atanu’s showing earned him a place in the Tata Archery Academy in 2008.

He remained consistent even after graduating to the elite level and bagged medals in international events as well. Atanu competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics but could not get the desired result. He worked on himself to come back as a better archer and claimed the men’s team silver medal along with Tarundeep Rai and Pravin Jadhav in the World championships in the Netherlands in 2019 to book a team quota place in the Olympics. He improved further to win his maiden World Cup individual gold medal in Guatemala this year and another gold with wife Deepika in mixed team event in World Cup-III in Paris.
 

Results in the Tokyo Olympics so far

Ranking round: Atanu Das scored 653 (329+324) to take 35th place on the men’s ranking list.

Did not qualify for the mixed event - Jadhav replaced India’s top archer Das to emerge as the best male archer of the country to join Deepika in the mixed team event.

Men's team: The Indian men’s archery team, comprising Atanu Das, Pravin Jadhav and Tarundeep Rai, lost to top-ranked South Korea in the quarterfinal

Men's individual: In contention. Through to pre-quarters after win over Jinhyek



Cheerleader in an arena with no fans

There are no spectators at Yumenoshima Park Archery Field due to COVID-19 restrictions but Das is still enjoying the support of his number one fan: his wife -- fellow archer Kumari.

"Good job! Confidence!" Kumari yelled to her husband, a lone voice of support in the stand where a dozen Korean staff and team members tried to urge Oh to victory.

World number one Kumari is also a real medal prospect for India after advancing to the round of eight in the women's individual event.

READ: Archery in Tokyo Olympics: India's Atanu Das through to pre-quarterfinals, beats Korean Oh Jinhyek

"I was hearing her the whole time, and she was pushing me up and telling me to believe in myself" Das told Reuters, showing off his two rings -- a wedding ring and an Olympic ring.

Das said he and Kumari, who married in a low-key ceremony in July last year, are staying in separate rooms in the Athletes' Village but they train together and are with each other most of the time.

They did not team up for the mixed team competition, though, with Kumari and Pravin Jadhav losing to South Korea in the quarter-finals.

If they partnered up, Das said the two could have won.

"I expected the mixed team, but unfortunately..." he said.

Das will next meet Takaharu Furukawa of Japan on Saturday for a place in the quarter-finals of the individual competition.

"My message for India is please pray for us and please encourage us. We will try our best, and move ahead," Das said.

(With updates from Reuters)

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