The lone male archer to qualify for the London Olympic Games so far, Jayanta Talukdar has led the Indian men’s recurve team to five gold, three silver and a bronze in World Cups, an Asian Championships team silver and a South Asian Games gold. This is since the 2008 Beijing Olympics, for which the team failed to qualify. Now, Talukdar is determined not to let the debacle repeat itself.
Excerpts from an interview:
The World Cup in Ogden, USA, in June 2012 gives the men’s team another chance.
Yes, we have messed up. It was relatively easy in the World Championships because we just had to win the first round of the elimination matches.
In Ogden, we will have to secure a medal. It won’t be easy because heavyweights like Germany, Australia and Japan, who have not qualified yet, will be looking at that competition.
At a time when your team-mates, Rahul Banerjee and Tarundeep Rai, were struggling, you shot a personal-best FITA round score of 1354 at the World Championships in Turin.
There was a problem with my left shoulder position and release, and as a result, my form dipped during the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.
I went back to the Tata Academy and got it rectified from our Korean coach (Lim Chae Woong).
Now, I am probably shooting better than ever.
Whether the team qualifies or not, you will have to hold your form for a year now.
That is the most difficult part. I plan to take a few months off training after the Asian Championships in October.
After that, it will be full-fledged training from February so that I can peak for the Olympics.
What about the training facilities here?
In archery, infrastructure is not important. We just need a field to train.
The Olympics would be held around this time next year and training in this heat and humidity affects performance.
We don’t feel like exerting ourselves during practice and even before the World Championships, I knew
our performance was going down.
I’ve spoken to the coaches, let’s see if we can move out of Kolkata to somewhere in Sikkim, which will be a little windy as well.
This will help us adjust to different conditions better.