Tokyo Paralympics: Break in training for a week means you start from zero, says archery coach Kuldeep

New Delhi [India]: The COVID-19 pandemic halted the sporting action across the world on numerous occasions in the last couple of years and India’s para archery coach Kuldeep Vedwan was quick to point how the breaks between the practice could possibly nullify all the efforts of the archers.
Harvinder Singh and Vivek Chikara will represent India in men’s recurve individual while Rakesh Kumar and Shyam Sundar Swami will lock horns in men’s compound individual. Also, Jyoti Baliyan will feature in women’s compound individual events in the Tokyo Paralympics. The Indian coach maintained since the archers are continually training in the camp organised by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) they are in the groove for the Tokyo Paralympics.
“I want to thank Sports Authority of India (SAI) and our federation as during COVID also our camp was organised. And if there were breaks between, our athletes practised on the ground because when we stop practising even for one week, the break actually takes us a month back. If you don’t practice even for a week, you have to again start from zero. This also works psychologically and affects the athletes on the mental and physical levels,” said Vedwan while replying to a query from ANI.
Archer Harvinder shed light on the athletes’ training routine at the SAI centre where they have been practising hard for about eight months.
“We are practising here and our training is going on nicely at SAI Sonepat for the last ten months. We start the day with yoga and breathing exercises and the train respectively,” said Harvinder.
When ANI asked how the recent performances will have an impact on the final showdown, Harvinder said: “After June (2019) championship, we got more than two years for practice and that experience will be helpful, I also won a gold medal in Para Asian and worked on my weakness.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with the para-athletes on Tuesday and coach Kuldeep said interaction with the PM has boosted the players’ morale.
“Rakesh and Jyoti have performed well recently. We felt really nice when PM Modi spoke to our athletes. This is the first time we are seeing that a Prime Minister is directly talking to athletes,” said Kuldeep.
“Our archers will perform well and you can see there is a different type of wave in athletics after Neeraj Chopra won gold in the Olympics. He has broken every barrier and I hope our athletes will also bring a medal,” he added.
Deputy Chef de Mission (CDM) Arhan Bagati while giving some insights about life in the Games Village said: “There are some cases and rules are strict, mask wearing is a must and we have to update regularly about our whereabouts. We need to give saliva samples every day and if we deviate, we can be suspended.”
A total of 54 para-athletes from across nine sports disciplines will be featuring in the showpiece event. This is India’s biggest ever contingent to the Paralympic Games.

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