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I can compete any time: Atanu

A monotonous life during the lockdown may have denied sportspersons the chance of competing in events, but World archey championships silver medallist Atanu Das is looking at the brighter side of a restrained lifestyle.

Atanu, who last was in action in an event where he secured three bronze medals in the Asian championships in Bangkok in November 2019, has never sat without a competition for such a long period.

Mental fortitude

Nevertheless, he relies on his mental fortitude. “It’s a mental state. I am ready, I can compete any time. First, everything should become normal,” Atanu told The Hindu.

On why Indian archers were often said to be lacking mental toughness in bigger events, he said: “Mental toughness gets built by taking part in competitions.

Indians participate in very less competitions in comparison to top foreign archers. We don’t even know about many events are happening around the world. The more you play, the tougher you become.

“The good thing about the lockdown is that Sports Authority of India (SAI) and Archery Association of India (AAI) are keeping in touch, caring about our needs and tracking our progress. Hope things will improve in future.”

A few lessons

The 28-year-old, who along with Tarundeep Rai and Pravin Jadhav, claimed Olympic quota places by bagging a team silver in the Den Bosch Worlds last year — has learnt a few lessons during the lockdown.

“Lockdown has taught us discipline, practices like social distancing and being patient for your turn. It has taught us to value whatever we have.It is teaching us how to be happy with whatever we have,” he said.

He acknowledged that training with an international archer like Deepika has helped.

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