TOKYO — When love’s arrow struck, Deepika Kumari and Atanu Das have been prepared with their very own quivers. Referred to as Dee-Das in India, the couple are certainly one of two pairs of married archers on the Tokyo Olympics.
Each halves of the couple superior into the person archery occasion, with Das falling within the 1/8 elimination spherical on Saturday to Takaharu Furukawa of Japan, the 2012 Olympic silver medalist.
Waving the Indian flag within the stands, below a broiling solar, was Kumari, the world No. 1, who had reached the quarterfinals the day earlier than. She was overwhelmed by An San of South Korea, who went on to take the gold medal.
“We’re a robust couple,” Das mentioned after his elimination on Saturday. “We misplaced on this Olympics right here, however from now we are going to play the sport in a different way. We’ve realized so many issues up to now few years, and we all know the right way to cope with the strain.”
India’s Olympic imprint is small, particularly given its massive inhabitants. Other than males’s hockey, the nation has received just one different gold medal, within the males’s 10-meter air rifle occasion within the 2008 Beijing Video games. In Tokyo, India’s archers have been thought of among the many nation’s medal hopefuls however did not make it to the rostrum rounds. To this point, India has received a silver medal in girls’s weight lifting and is assured a medal in girls’s boxing.
Archery is a supremely psychological sport. Going into the competitors on Saturday, Das inked the phrase “calm” on his hand as a reminder to not let the strain erode his confidence. The divergence between a win and a loss in archery is measured in millimeters.
“They assist one another with the nerves,” mentioned Mim Bahadur Gurung, the Indian archery coach, referring to the assist the couple give one another. “It’s simple to be nervous in archery.”
Within the earlier rounds in Tokyo, contested on a man-made island constructed from waste landfill, Das had allotted with the 2012 Olympic gold medalist Oh Jin-hyek, who’s a part of South Korea’s robust archery squad. Unusually, not one of the Koreans have been in medal competition within the males’s particular person occasion, though the crew received gold on Monday.
The opposite married archers who competed in Tokyo are Florian Unruh and Lisa Unruh of Germany. A silver medalist within the girls’s particular person occasion on the 2016 Rio Video games, she was a part of the German girls’s crew that received bronze in Tokyo on Sunday. He made it to the quarterfinals on Saturday, after having upset one other Korean Olympic gold medalist.
With Covid-19 raging in India and the federal government eager to boost its Olympic profile, the archery crew was dispatched to a military sports activities institute within the metropolis of Pune to coach for eight months. Being away from household for thus lengthy was tough, however Kumari and Das had one another.
In June, they received gold within the blended crew occasion at an archery World Cup competitors. However Das’s capturing was thought of erratic within the run-up to the Video games, and so they weren’t paired for competitors in Tokyo. Kumari and her blended crew accomplice, Pravin Jadhav, made it to the quarterfinals earlier than being eradicated by Korean rivals.
Das and Kumari had initially deliberate to get married across the time of the Tokyo Olympics. However the Video games have been delayed, and so they determined to marry final yr. On one ring finger, Das wears his wedding ceremony band. On the opposite, he has a golden band with the Olympic rings.
“Now it’s over,” he mentioned, “however we’ll be again in three years.”