Atanu Das: Tokyo 2020 will see the best of me

Atanu Das is one of the four Indian archers who have already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

By Utathya Nag

Indian archer Atanu Das has his aim firmly set for next year’s Tokyo Olympics to showcase his best yet.

The 28-year-old Das has already confirmed his spot at the Summer Games in 2021, courtesy of a silver medal finish at the 2019 World Archery Championships. He was a part of the Indian men's recurve team.

Atanu Das, along with team-mates Tarundeep Rai and Pravin Jadhav, are certain to travel to Tokyo. This will be Das’ second Olympics after featuring at Rio 2016.

“I'm preparing very hard for the 2021 Olympics. Rio 2016 was my first one, but Tokyo will be the best one, I will be a lot more prepared,” Atanu Das told table tennis player Mudit Dani during an Instagram live session.

Indian archer Atanu Das made his Olympics debut at Rio 2016.

Atanu Das’ maiden Olympic adventure at Rio was eventful, but one that ended in heartbreak. He went down narrowly - by a single point to be precise - to South Korea’s Lee Seung-Yun in the Round of 16.

Despite the agonising exit, Das feels the experience has armed him to become a better archer.

“I was very excited for my first ever Olympic Games in 2016. I had given my best and pushed myself in the hardest way till the last arrow. But unfortunately, I lost in the pre-quarters.

“I learnt a lot after that loss. I noted down my strong and weak points and worked on them,” he noted.

Das, however, admits that recovering from his Rio loss, did take some time but it served to prepare himself better mentally.

“I didn’t want to talk to anyone for a few months. I needed time,” Das said.

“It's very important how you manage your thought process even at the time of practice as well. You have to be honest to yourself. After one month from Rio loss, I started working on the mental aspect of the game,” the Indian archer added.

Das’ wife Deepika Kumari, meanwhile, is the only Indian women’s archer who has already won a quota place for the upcoming Olympics.

Both Atanu and Deepika are part of the 16-member archery national camp for Tokyo hopeful Indian archers which got underway at the Army Sports Institute (ASI) in Pune from August 25.