Bengaluru, March 20: Ace Indian archer Atanu Das had missed an individual medal by a whisker, finishing fourth in the Rio Olympics last year.
Even though Das is one of India’s brightest and most promising archers, he was not welcomed by the Indian sports fraternity with grandeur.
He could not reach the status of Dipa Karmakar who was showered with awards and gifts in spite of having finished fourth in the vault category in Rio Olympics.
Even the sensational news of Atanu’s gold-winning performance in the Indoor World Cup Stage Four in Las Vegas in January has been ignored by the Indian media.
But the 25-year old archer did not look bothered or upset. Speaking over the phone from Pune where he has been training for last three months, Atanu Das said: “I had not at all thought about those things.
"I never brood that why I did not receive felicitations or why I was not conferred with awards like Padmasree.
"Rather after returning from Rio Olympics, I tried to concentrate on rectifying my mistakes which I made in Olympics.”
In this research of rectification, Atanu has found a US-based renowned sports psychologist. He is Lorenzo Beltrame who was a former tennis player and then turned to one of the world’s best sports psychologists at the moment.
Beltrame had already visited Indian archers last year in a national preparatory camp organized by Archery Federation of India (AFI) for only ten days.
Mangal Champia, one of the country’s most prominent archers once lamented saying: “If we could have been under Beltrame’s guidance for a few more months our performance in the international scenario would have been much better.
"But the expense of keeping Beltrame for months is so high that it has not been possible for AFI to continue.”
Atanu has been able to continue only after he is being sponsored by Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ). He said: “Almost every alternative day I talk to Beltrame via internet.
"Beltrame is very special in one aspect that he not only inspire you before a match or during the practice, but teachings can change the sportsperson’s daily life. He had a major role indirectly in my gold-winning performance in the Las Vegas.”
Atanu is aiming at gold in the forthcoming national championship, to be held in New Delhi from 26th March to 30th March.