Paris 2024: Deepika Kumari remains positive ahead of her fourth Olympics

Approaching her fourth Olympics, archer Deepika Kumari understands the usefulness of controlling the mind and remains positive for Paris 2024.

Deepika looks forward to using her experience. “Honestly, there’s nothing going on in my mind. It’s the fourth Olympics. It’s a new event, a new team. I’ll try to use my experience and control my thoughts,” Deepika, who fought back to grab a place in the National side after experiencing motherhood two years ago, told Sportstar at the National camp on the Army Sports Institute campus here.

Deepika, the lone Indian woman to compete in the Tokyo Games, is aware that Indian archers have not been able to handle pressure at the Olympics. “Every match has different pressures and thoughts. I have trained so that I can manage those things. How much I will be able to manage will be known only at that time.”

Leading two younger archers, Ankita Bhakat and Bhajan Kaur, who will make their Olympics debut, Deepika displays a much calmer demeanour while playing the dual role as an athlete and as the unofficial mentor of the Indian women’s team.

“You have to go to the shooting line and shoot yourself. You have to put your 100 percent effort in every arrow. You should not depend on your team members,” advises Deepika.

But the trio is also working on team bonding. “If someone is not doing well, or we are not synchronizing, what do we think about that? There are three minds and three bodies. We should feel that only one person is performing.”

Deepika – who lost five kgs in the last few months to remain in top shape for the Olympics – said getting a high score in the qualifying round would be important in order to get a decent rank in the Paris competition.

“We will try to do well so that we get a good draw. Korea performs well at that stage. No one wants to play the first or second match with them.”

Understandably, both Ankita and Bhajan draw confidence from their fine shows in the World Cup Stage-3 recently amid the excitement of preparing for their first Olympics.

“We will focus on staying positive and shooting confidently,” said Ankita

“I am preparing well. I will take the same things (which have given me results) forward,” said Bhajan.

All of them focus on the process to make the most of the women’s team qualification earned after eight years.

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