You are here:Home » Sports » RIO 2016

Kolkata boy country's archery hope at Rio

KOLKATA: Ten years ago, a boy in his early teens had walked into an archery academy in Baranagar on city's northern fringes with obsolete and incomplete equipment.

Though the coaches wanted to turn him away, the young boy's mother would not take no for an answer. She insisted that her son be given a fair opportunity in the archery range before he is turned away. The coaches yielded.

KOLKATA: Ten years ago, a boy in his early teens had walked into an archery academy in Baranagar on city's northern fringes with obsolete and incomplete equipment.

Though the coaches wanted to turn him away, the young boy's mother would not take no for an answer. She insisted that her son be given a fair opportunity in the archery range before he is turned away. The coaches yielded.

On Tuesday evening when Atanu Das began his campaign in the elimination round of the Rio Olympic Games, he was well aware his mother's prayers will be the difference between going for gold or going home.

"He called up an hour ago to speak to me," a beaming Aditi Das told TOI in her Bansdroni home."He sought my blessing. I advised him to keep his cool and focus on his target."

Atanu Das, 24-year-old archer, is from Baranagar. Atanu started archery at the age of 14. He moved to Tata Archery Academy in 2008, where he was trained under the coach Lim Chae Wong. At the Rio Olympic he is his making his first appearance in a mega event. Atanu is currently employed in Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited, Kolkata.

He made his international debut in 2008. Das edged out the experienced former Olympian duo of Jayanta Talukdar and Mangal Singh Champia to qualify for his maiden Olympic Games. 

Das is the lone male member in the Indian archery team and will compete only in the individual section as the men's team had failed to qualify from the World Championship. That definitely increases the expectations of the entire nation.

Father Amit Das was busy answering calls from relatives, neighbours and well-wishers throughout Tuesday.

"It feels so good to know that so many people love my son. Everybody watched his game. The entire country is expecting that he would bring home a medal," said Amit.


Both Amit and Aditi are basking in well-deserved glory. Archery is an expensive sport and Das' who belonged to a lower middle class could not afford to spend so much. The first set of equipment that Aditi bought for her son was second hand and incomplete.


"I spent all my savings in buying equipment for him because he was my biggest investment," said Aditi.


The young boy did not disappoint his mother. The very next year he went on to win bronze at the National Games. He has played several tournaments ever since and won several medals.


"Qualifying for Rio was the biggest gift my son gave me. I know he is burdened with expectations but I want him to enjoy his game," said Aditi.

To keep yourself update for RIO 2016 news, follow us on facebook or twitter.