Bengaluru: Sachin Gupta, one of the finalists in the archery event at the Khelo India University Games at the Jain University Global Campus on Wednesday, has an extremely busy schedule after returning to the Indian team after a hiatus of five years.
He only landed in Bengaluru on Tuesday morning from Turkey, where he was representing India at the Archery World Cup, where he placed eighth in the qualifying round.
On Wednesday, competing for his university with little rest and training, the 24-year-old recurve archer was ranked fourth with 328 points behind Mayur Rokade (332) of Shivaji University, Kolhapur, Aditya Choudhary (331) of the Lovely Professional University, Punjab and Sumedh Mohod (330) from Sant Gadge Baba Amravati University, Maharashtra among 39 competitors.
There is no rest for Sachin even after that. He will play two more World Cups – in South Korea (Gwangju from May 16 to 22) and France (Paris from June 21 to 26) – and the World University Games in Chengdu, China from June 29 to July 3. also in the Indian team bound for the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
Speaking to The Bridge on Wednesday, Sachin said: “Every competition is important to me, but I mainly focus on international events. It (Khelo India University Games) helps me adapt to various conditions. It was cold in Turkey while here it’s hot Also, I can’t dismiss the domestic competition as it is getting harder day by day, so there is no point in differentiating between tournaments Khelo Games is for top eight university archers. I don’t want to lose my place in the Indian team.”
“When I lost my place in 2017 I wasn’t discouraged but I never thought I would have to wait that long. But I’m happy now,” he said.
The final year student of BSC Sports Science at Khalsa College, Kurukshetra University is back in the national archery team after a five-year hiatus, even though he played in national junior championships . For archer Gurugram, beating Olympian and world number 9 Atanu Das 6-2 in the national championship final in Jammu in March this year brought a sudden burst of hope – and a packed schedule.
At the Khelo India University Games, Thursday is exclusively for the compound archers and Sachin will therefore enjoy a well-deserved break. “I will train after a good night’s sleep,” said Sachin, who has been coached by Yogesh Chand Pal at Yamuna Sports Complex in Delhi since 2014 when he was a student in class X.
“Coaches and personal trainers are important. I wish he was there in Turkey. I would have done better,” Sachin added.
Sachin, the 2019 Khelo India Youth Games and All India Inter-University champion, won his first gold medal at the national level in 2015 with a bamboo bow. Seven years later, he is still without a medal at the international level.
“I am fully focused on the next World Cup and then Universaide. A medal in one of the three competitions will boost me for Asiad Hangzhou,” he said.