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At times, nerves getting the better of Deepika

Mentor concerned; puts her on yoga, regular running, swimming & gym sessions to calm the mind

By Jayesh Thaker
  • Published 6.09.15
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OFF TARGET: Deepika Kumari

Jamshedpur, Sept. 5: Deepika Kumari seems to be missing the target when it matters.

The former world number one archer tripped against her opponent during the pre-quarterfinals of the World Championship at Copenhagen (Denmark) in July. She faltered once again at the World Cup (stage 3) at Wroclaw (Poland) the following month.

So, what exactly is going wrong for the Olympics contender?

Although the 21-year-old former cadet of Tata archery cradle teamed up with Jharkhand's Mangal Singh Champia to claim the mixed team silver at Wroclaw, one of her early coaches believes she is suffering from bouts of nervousness.

"I am worried over Deepika's problem. Less than a year is left for the Olympics and Deepika has to come up with her best. Her selection for Rio will hinge a lot on her performance in the coming months," said Jamshedpur-based Dharmendra Tiwary, who was the Indian team mentor at both Denmark and Poland competitions.

Deepika is now training at a camp organised by Archery Association of India at JRD Tata Sports Complex along with 14 others - L. Bombayala Devi, Reena Kumari, Laxmi Rani Majhi, Rimil Biruily, N. Lavanya, B. Pranitha, Satbir Kaur, Jayanta Talukdar, Mangal Singh Champia, Rahul Banerjee, Kapil, Vakil Raj, Bulbul Marandi and Atul Kumar.

While Deepika, Majhi and Biruily have qualified for next year's Rio Olympics team event, their participation hinges on Indian selectors' appraisal of their performance in various tournaments in the lead-up to the world's biggest sports extravaganza.

"Unike Champia, who has qualified for Olympics in his individual capacity and will, therefore, compete in Rio, the women will need to maintain their performance in upcoming national and international competitions for getting selected in the Indian squad," explained V.V.S.N. Rao, former technical director of Tata archery cradle.

"Hence, the upcoming events are very crucial for the women archers," he said.

Tiwary explained that Deepika was a top-bracket archer who was a seasoned performer with a hunger to do well. "When she was new to archery, Deepika used to shoot well with a free mind. But that is not the situation now. She may be feeling bogged down by the pressure to perform. This happens when one becomes seasoned. Remember, Deepika is in archery for more than a decade now," he explained.

The coach of the Tata cradle said he was paying special attention towards Deepika's shortcomings.

-OVERMATTER-

"I have put her into strenuous cardio-vascular exercises - running, swimming and sessions at the gym. These exercises will help bring down her pulse rate, which will have a positive bearing on her bouts of nervousness," the mentor said.

According to him, she swims in the evenings three days a week and spends an equal number of days at the gym. "Running is a daily feature during early mornings. Moreover, I have also asked her to do yoga regularly whenever she gets time. Yoga is helpful for a cool and composed mind," Tiwary added.

Nervousness, he opined, could have a telling affect on the psyche of an archer. "It dips performance by several notches. The country cannot afford such a situation with Deepika," he pointed out.