Indian archer Atanu Das on Friday lamented a psychological barrier and refused to blame his teammates for his disastrous outing at the Asian Games.
The 26-year-old crashed out from both individual and mixed team recurve event at the Asian Games. He was the only Indian to reach the quarter-finals in the individual event but lost in the first round in mixed event with Deepika Kumari.
While India’s coach Sawaiyan Manjhi had said the team did not come well prepared, Atanu called it a psychological issue. “Who said we have not come with best preparation? It’s not like this. We came here 4-5 days before and there is no problem. I don’t want to give any excuse. Something is missing and it keeps happening. Everytime new mistakes come to fore,” said Das.
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 quarter-finals. It hurts badly but I won’t give up until I achieve my objective.”
‘Performance is not up to mark’
Atanu said 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 they struggle due to 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.”
Atanu refused to blame his teammate Deepika for the defeat in mixed event. Deepika shot a poor seven in shoot-off, which resulted in India’s defeat against lower-ranked Mongolia. “At the start, I also hit a six, I had just dropped that shot, it just came off may 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 foreign coach, that won’t be enough. We need good training whether is comes from an Indian or a foreigner, it does not make a difference. I do not have any coach after 2013 and sometime I got to Korea for training with the help of SAI and OGQ.”