It was a solid day for the Indian contingent as there was mostly positive news. However, the biggest news came from the Yumenoshima Park Archery Field, where Indian archer Atanu Das defeated 2012 London Olympics Gold medallist Jin Hyek Oh in the shoot-off.
While Atanu was going through all the emotions it was his wife and Women’s World No. 1 Deepika Kumari constantly motivating him to believe in himself. She kept pushing him from the stands and had a bright smile on her face when she finally saw her husband pull out a masterclass.
Deepika made sure that her husband was fully charged up because one needs to be at their best to defeat South Korea’s Oh Jin-hyek in the round of 32 to keep his Tokyo Olympics hopes alive.
“I was hearing her the whole time, and she was pushing me up and telling me to believe in myself,” Das told Reuters on Thursday after winning the close encounter on shootoff.
Atanu and Deepika are not staying together at the Olympics despite being a married couple. They only meet during the training and both the archers try to motivate each other in order to improve their game overall. Deepika will also be in action on Friday as she will look to clinch the elusive Olympic medal in Archery for India.
There were hopes from the Indian pair in the Mixed team event but Atanu das faltered with his ranking round and allowing Pravin Jadhav to take th centre stage along with Deepika. The Indian pair progressed to the quarterfinals but were eventually defeated by the Gold medallist pairing from South Korea of An San and Kim Je-deok.
The chances could have been high if Atanu had held his own at the ranking round and joined his wife for the Mixed team event. The Indian pairing of Atanu and Deepika won the Gold medal at the World Cup Stage 3 finals and therefore hopes of them doing well were pretty high.
“I expected the mixed team, but unfortunately…” he said.
Atanu Das will now face Silver medallist from the 2012 London Olympics, Japan’s Takaharu Furukawa to clinch a place in the last eight of the event.
“My message for India is please pray for us and please encourage us. We will try our best, and move ahead,” Das said.