Dronacharya awardee coach of Indian female archery team, Purnima Mahato has blamed psychological lapses of young players like Komalika Bari and Deepika Kumari leading to their failure in excelling and resulting into team’s inability to ensure qualification for Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
The Indian women’s squad still has a chance of making their cut into the Olympics if they can keep themselves within the first three teams in the World Cup Stage III in 2020.
Purnima, while speaking to The Bridge from her Jamshedpur residence, explained, “The girls were fighting well. Each of their matches saw neck-to-neck battle. The Belarus match was must-win for us. They were ranked 11th while our girls were placed 6th in the world. But Komalika Bari, despite being brilliant in the team’s first match, endured an injury in her fingers, which was a major setback. Secondly, at the final moment, our players failed to cope up with psychological pressure. The players had to concentrate amidst huge chants of opposition supporters. But considering their overall performance, I can say they fought a lot.”
When asked about Deepika Kumari’s show, Purnima, initially reluctant to opine, added, “Her performance was at a level. Neither did it decline nor it was something outstanding. I, personally feel Deepika has to work hard to regain her old form to ensure our women team’s qualification at the Tokyo Olympics.”
The archers will be travelling to Berlin on 30th June to participate in the World Cup. National coach asserted, “These tournaments should be the perfect preparatory tournaments for the players. The girls, particularly Komalika Bari, will be able to gather experience so that they don’t succumb to the psychological pressure on the spot.”
When asked how the players are being tried to motivate in the ongoing national preparatory camp in Delhi, Purnima described saying, “We try to rectify their mistakes. At the same time, we show them video recordings from their old matches where they produced winning performances. It helps them to come out of their frustration.”
Purnima, who is associated with Tata Archery Academy, has dreams of setting up her own archery academy. Before concluding Purnima said, “I have plans to set up my own academy. My dream is to gift an international player that will supersede even player Purnima Mahato one day.”