Tokyo Olympics: Deepika banking on experience to earn India’s first medal in archery | Tokyo Olympics News
But for that to happen, the current female world No. 1 will have to control her emotions and heartbeat, handle the pressure of playing on the biggest stage much better than her previous two games, and negotiate the wind at Yumenoshima Park, the host Tokyo 2020 archery events.
Having resumed competition following lockdowns imposed by Covid in 2020, Deepika has been at the top of form for the Olympics, but the pandemic made the road more difficult in between.
“When the lockout happened, we were completely blank as were the Olympic qualifiers a month from now. Suddenly, we had no idea what to do among all the uncertainties. It was a difficult time to adjust, ”he had said earlier during an interaction.
Deepika had also admitted that the situation negatively affected everyone’s training and it took a while for them to get back to the way they were before closing.
Marrying her longtime boyfriend and fellow Olympian goalkeeper Atanu Das on June 30 last year helped Deepika have a practice partner at home to keep fit during the pandemic. The couple posted some fun-filled videos of their home practice sessions on their social media accounts that also reflected their continued striving for good mental health.
Regaining the number one spot after the gold hat-trick in Stage 3 of the Archery World Cup in Paris about a month ago, Deepika has high expectations of herself. However, she has been in a similar position before, albeit in her late teens, when she made her Olympic debut in London 2012 as the highest ranked female goalkeeper at the time. But a bout of fever before his event combined with the pressure to perform and the flurries at Lord’s, the archery venue at the London Games, blew his dreams away in the first round.
“I have learned a lot from the last two Olympics and past competitions. I am working a lot on the mental side of the game and I have gained a lot of confidence, ”said Deepika before leaving for Tokyo. On ways to handle Olympic pressure, the ace goalie added: “At the moment, it’s just about you and your arrow and they trust each other. Only my goal is visible at that moment. ”
Making her name famous around the world for over a decade, Deepika has ticked all the boxes that archery has to offer, except for an Olympic medal. In Rio, she was eliminated in the round of 16, further delaying her wait for the glory of the Games.
Overall, the 27-year-old has nine gold, 12 silver and seven bronze medals at World Cups. He is a two-time gold medalist at the Commonwealth Games (individual and women’s teams, 2010) and a double silver medalist at the World Championships (2011 and 2015, Copenhagen). Deepika, the only Indian in Tokyo’s women’s section, has qualified for her third Games in the individual and mixed team events. Atanu, Tarundeep Rai Y Pravin Jadhav They are the archer men who will qualify for this edition of the star event.
Deepika, aware of the enormous expectations, had said after the golds in Paris: “This is the first time I have won all three medals in a World Cup. I’m very happy but, at the same time, I have to keep improving as we have some very, very important competitions lined up ”.
However, in a precision sport, you need to control your heartbeat to hit the target. During a video chat with Olympic marksman Apurvi Chandela about a year ago, Deepika had explained: “You have to control your heartbeat to achieve perfect aim. If you have pressure and your heartbeat starts to increase, it is really dangerous because the shot can miss. It’s a fraction of a second that you have to shoot the arrow between two beats. ”
“Deepika has won almost everything but an Olympic medal. This time, you can’t say she doesn’t have the experience as it will be her third Olympics, ”said Dola Banerjee, the first Indian woman to be number one in the world, about her former teammate.
However, the spectator ban, due to the raging virus that still threatens the Olympics, can do wonders for Deepika and India’s fortunes by removing the pressure from vociferous fans at the Olympic venues.
“The absence of an audience can be an advantage for India. Especially the host nations have great support and that can work against you if you play against them. Our archers are not used to crowds. In our fields, we usually only have players and a few officials, not too many fans, ”Banerjee had explained.
Dronacharya award-winning archery coach Dharmendra Tiwary had also echoed Banerjee’s thoughts, saying: “Spectators fill the galleries on both sides of the shooting range during international events, including the Olympics, and our archers are not used to competing in front of a large crowd. In a way, these Olympics can ease the external pressure and benefit Deepika and all that. ”
Meanwhile, Tiwary, who has mentored Deepika and Atanu during their formative years at Tata Archery AcademyJamshedpur feels that the mixed-team event, which will make its Olympic debut in Tokyo, is India’s best bet for the elusive archery medal.
“It is good that a mixed team event has been included in next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo. Indian co-ed teams have won World Cup medals on more than one occasion, and I am optimistic that they can put on a similar show at the Olympics, ”Tiwary had previously said.
And Deepika and Atanu’s real life couple are ready to take home the honors on the back of the World archery Gold for mixed teams secured in Paris.
An Arjuna Award winner for outstanding achievement in sports, Deepika is able to make her name synonymous with the epic character of Mahabharata named after the award, by adding the crown jewel to her already glittering trophy cabinet.
SAVE YOUR DATES (only involves Indians)
EVENT PLACE: Yumenoshima Park End Camp
5:30 AM: Women’s Individual Qualifying Rounds (Deepika Kumari)
9:30 AM: Men’s Individual Qualifying Rounds (Atanu Das, Pravin Jadhav, Tarundeep Rai)
6:00 AM: Mixed team eliminations (Atanu Das, Deepika Kumari)
12:55 PM: Mixed Team Medal Matches
6:00 AM: Eliminations by men’s teams (Atanu Das, Pravin Jadhav, Tarundeep Rai)
12:45 PM: Men’s Team Medal Matches
6:00 AM: Women’s individual eliminations (Deepika Kumari)
1:00 PM: Women’s individual medal matches
July 27 to 31
6:00 AM: Men’s Singles Eliminations (Atanu Das, Pravin Jadhav, Tarundeep Rai)
1:00 PM: Men’s individual medal matches