Indian archer Atanu Das has vowed to dish out his best performance at next year's Tokyo Games, saying he is much better prepared, having worked on various aspects of his game after an ordinary outing at the Rio Olympics. The 28-year-old Das went down fighting against South Korean Lee Seung-Yun in the round of 16 in his maiden Olympics four years ago.
"I was very excited for my first ever Olympic Games in 2016 Rio. I had given my best and pushed myself hardest way but unfortunately I lost in the quarters. May be that was my best of that time. I learnt a lot after that loss," he said in an online live chat show 'In the Sportlight'.
"I noted down my strong and weak points and worked on them. I was so disappointed after that loss that I didn't want to talk to anyone for first two months. 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 mental aspect of the game."
Das, who is part of the national camp and is currently training at ASI Pune, has qualified for the Tokyo Olympics along with compatriots Tarundeep Rai and Pravin Jadhav in the men’s recurve team event with an impressive show at the 2019 World Championships. "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," he said.
The Asian Championship bronze medallist said the rejection at Tata academy in 2007 made him work hard on his game "I started archery in 2006. I wanted to practice in Tata Archery Academy but when I went there I got rejected in a day. I was so disappointed and made my mind that I have to do this and I will go to the that academy by hook or by crook," he said.
"Then I started working hard and within a six months there was sub-junior nationals -- my first ever nationals in recurve archery. I won individual gold and then that academy selected me in 2007. I started taking archery seriously with dream of taking it to next level."