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Atanu's message for India: Pray for us, encourage us

July 29, 2021 11:29 IST
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Power of love helps archer Atanu Das defeat 2012 champion Oh.

India's Atanu Das in action during the Men's Individual 1/16 archery event at the Yumenoshima Archery Field in Tokyo on Thursday

IMAGE: India's Atanu Das in action during the Men's Individual 1/16 archery event at the Yumenoshima Archery Field in Tokyo on Thursday. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

There are no spectators at Yumenoshima Park Archery Field due to COVID-19 restrictions but India's Atanu Das is still enjoying the support of his number one fan: his wife -- fellow archer Deepika Kumari.

 

And that hard-core following certainly helped Das on Thursday as he defeated London Olympic champion Oh Jin-hyek from South Korea in the individual elimination rounds.

"Good job! Confidence!" Kumari yelled to her husband, a lone voice of support in the stand where a dozen Korean staff and team members tried to urge Oh to victory.

World number one Kumari is also a real medal prospect for India after advancing to the round of eight in the women's individual event.

"I was hearing her the whole time, and she was pushing me up and telling me to believe in myself" Das told Reuters, showing off his two rings -- a wedding ring and an Olympic ring.

Atanu Das sports an Olympic ring while he competes during the archery Men's Individual Eliminations on Thursday 

IMAGE: Atanu Das sports an Olympic ring while he competes during the archery Men's Individual Eliminations on Thursday. Photograph: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Das said he and Kumari, who married in a low-key ceremony in July last year, are staying in separate rooms in the Athletes' Village but they train together and are with each other most of the time.

They did not team up for the mixed team competition, though, with Kumari and Pravin Jadhav losing to South Korea in the quarter-finals.

If they partnered up, Das said the two could have won.

"I expected the mixed team, but unfortunately..." he said.

Das will next meet Takaharu Furukawa of Japan on Saturday for a place in the quarter-finals of the individual competition.

"My message for India is please pray for us and please encourage us. We will try our best, and move ahead," Das said.

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Source: REUTERS
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