Many say that your participation in the Olympics is as good as winning a medal. What did you expect from this tournament?
Of course, winning a place in the Olympics itself was a huge victory for me and for our country. But in the Olympics, only the best of the best players in the world compete. So, winning a medal was never going to be easy but it didn’t stop me from dreaming of a medal for my country. I gave my best and I’m still hanging on to that dream.
What went through your mind when you were drawn to play against World Number 1?
I must say that it was one of my best performances to date. For me it doesn’t really matter whether my opponent is the world number 1 or a champion. I just wanted to give my best. We never know what’s going to happen.
Did you interact with your opponent Deepika Kumari before the game?
No, we didn’t have a conversation, we just greeted each other. I was focused on myself.
After losing two straight sets, you hit a 10 pointer. What happened?
During the competition, there was a strong wind. I was little confused about the direction of the wind but I just kept focusing on my posture, especially my bow arm. Yes, in the last round my last arrow hit 10. I felt very happy and satisfied, but sadly that was the last arrow. I wished for one more round.
How satisfied are you with the result?
I am happy but I am not satisfied with my results. That ‘unsatisfied feeling’ makes me work harder and makes me stronger.
There is a huge stress on participants in such events. How did you keep yourself under control?
Yes, there is stress and a lot of pressure in such a tournament but it all depends on the individual. For me, I just kept focusing on myself, took advice from the coach, did mental training to focus and listened to music to free my mind and relax.
How was your stay in Japan?
I really had a good time. It was a great experience. Before going to Tokyo, I got a chance to train in Hakone with the help of SEISA. I didn’t expect that much. They have prepared like a tournament with the timer machine and refreshment. They provided us with free food and lodging. They have prepared so many things for me including lighting for evening practice. I could practise in the evening as well, which was really interesting. I even received many sets of uniforms. They treated me like a princess.
What lessons did you learn from the Olympics?
The lesson that I have learnt from the Olympics is that we never know what’s going to happen, so be prepared for the worst and just keep focusing on improving yourself.
There are many showing interests in the sport. How secure do you think your future is as a national player?
I just feel happy when the youth show interest in sports and come forward. It’s going to get very competitive but I’ll just give my best, keep focusing on myself and keep going.
What is your message for our youth?
To all our youths I would like to say that, never give up on your dreams, have patience and keep trying.