Pune’s Bhagyashree Kolte returns from injury and shoots for Top 5
The city’s 20-year-old archer, Bhagyashree Kolte was among the state’s top archers and also a regular podium finisher at national tournaments. With a total 156 medals, including 40 nationals, Bhagyashree is a common name at the national circuit.
She was among the top contenders for the Youth World Championship, securing a fifth place finish. However, preparations for international tournaments suffered a big blow when she was forced to take a break due to right shoulder injury sustained in October 2017. Now, after a gap of six months, the archer is all set to retake her place in the national ranking, but according to her, the injury caused more than just physical harm.
“Only a sportsperson can understand the feeling suddenly being forced away from a sport. Years of hard work, dedication and sacrifice are wasted and one has to start all over again. It’s very disturbing and the worst part is that there is nothing one can do about it,” said Bhagyashree, at the Senior National Archery Championship.
Bhagyashree’s was diagnosed with Superior Labrum Anterior and Posterior (SLAP) tears, also referred to as labral tears. The injury causes deep shoulder pain, hampering performance.
After four months of complete rest, she began her recovery training and after light workouts and physical training, she started with theraband exercises.
When asked how she motivated herself while injured, she said, “I tried to engage in other activities and tried to shift my focus on them. it was still difficult because this was the first time I was forced from playing.”
Bhagyashree began training in archery in 2009 and she immediately started winning tournaments. She represented Newasa Military School, Ahmednagar and won national gold medals three times in a row. She had played 25 national tournaments and was also part of the Indian junior team for the Asian Championship, 2014 at Chinese Taipei.
“Now my aim is to get back into the top 32, so that I can qualify for the upcoming National Games to be held in Goa. I have managed to reach the seventh place, so it won’t be an issue but I still need to put in work to regain my previous position in the top five,” she said.