India's Olympic hopeful archers are hoping to regain their lost momentum as they continue their training sessions, which resumed in August. The archers are happy with the arrangements as they returned to full-fledged training for the first time since the lockdown was imposed in March.
The Government of India has reopened sporting facilities across the nation with special focus on the athletes aiming for Tokyo Olympics spots.
Indian men's and women's recurve team archers are currently undergoing their training at the Army Sports Institute in Pune, Maharashtra. The training camp had begun from August 25, and the archers are delighted to be back in a competitive environment again.
Atanu Das, who was recently honoured with the prestigious Arjuna Award, spoke about the challenges faced by the athletes after their training came to a halt due to the lockdown. He said:
"It was difficult for the first couple of days after returning to training as we were training very intensely in March prior to the lockdown being imposed. This was the longest gap between training that I have ever had."
Indian archers have their work cut out ahead of the Tokyo Olympics
The Indian men's recurve team and women's archer Deepika Kumari have secured their qualification for the Tokyo Olympics, scheduled for July-August next year. The women's recurve team will have a final opportunity to secure qualification for the mega event at the World Qualification Tournament which will be held next year.
The athletes are currently in the initial phases of their training as most of them had recently completed quarantine protocols. According to the coach Majhi Sawaiyan, the focus is on general fitness as well as building strength, endurance and mental fortitude. He said:
"Players are gradually coming out of quarantine. We are working on general fitness with emphasis on strength and endurance. To work on the mental aspect, the athletes are doing yoga and meditation."
The archers are happy with the safety measures that are in place at the facility in Pune and will hope to continue the positive momentum as they prepare for the big challenges ahead.Published 09 Oct 2020, 16:46 IST