Pune, India, September 17, 2020: Months after training in isolation at the Army Sports Institute in Pune, veteran archer Tarundeep Rai will enjoy the company of Indian team hopefuls when the national camp gets underway this week, the Olympic Channel reports.
While a handful of archers have hit the 70-metre range at the Army facility, the likes of fellow Tokyo-bound archers Atanu Das and Deepika Kumari are expected to join Rai and the group in the coming days after serving a mandatory 14-day quarantine period.
“It’s good to have the guys back. But we need to be very careful,” said Rai.
"We need to be extremely careful and ensure that all Standard Operating Procedures are followed well. We need to be self-aware and take all the necessary precautions. One benefit that we have is that archery is not a contact sport. That’s an advantage given the situation we are in.”
With most of the archers observing the lockdown since March, the 36-year-old Rai felt that they will take time to peak again.
“I think it might take a while. From what I understand they didn’t have the option to draw a bow in the past months. So to get back to where they were in the pre-coronavirus period will take some time,” the two-time Olympian said.
With no international events scheduled for the year, the Indian team is expected to take a cautious approach in the coming months. But with no domestic competitions to test them themselves, Rai believes it will not be easy for them.
“It’s a tricky situation. Yes, it’s an advantage that we don’t have any international events coming up; as such we will have enough time to get back in shape,” Rai added.