Delhi-based international compound archer Abhishek Verma returned with two medals from the just-concluded Asian Games, winning a gold in team event and a silver medal in individual event.
No wonder then that the 19th Asian Games were memorable, said the archer.
“I am extremely happy that my mental and physical health was good during the continental games and I was able to deliver at the right time,” Verma told Patriot on return from Hangzhou.
Hard work might not alone express how Verma climbed up the ladder during domestic trials and competition to cement his place in the national team for the Asian Games.
In archery, the mental state — including focus and concentration — at the time of arrow shots is key.
At the beginning of the year, the experienced archer was on the verge of losing a berth in the national team. He finished fifth in the first selection trials in February. Only the top two positions earned berths in the team.
Verma recalls, “It was a do-or-die situation for me as it was my third Asian Games. I wanted to do well. I worked extremely hard and earned a place in the national team.”
From March to May, he stayed focussed to balance his physical fitness and health to perform at optimum level.
“It was a challenging situation for me. I was determined and thankfully didn’t wilt under pressure,” Verma said.
“I’m happy that I was successful on the field,” said the 34-year-old while pointing out that he was in good mental shape that helped him win.
Verma has won Asian Games medals in the past as well, winning team silver in 2018 Asiad at Jakarta and an individual silver and team gold in the 2014 edition in Incheon.
He also has two individual gold medals (2015 and 2021) and two team gold medals (2018 and 2022) in World Cup events.
His performance in individual event at Hangzhou prompted Prime Minister Narendra Modi to tweet, “A remarkable performance. Congratulations on winning the Silver Medal in the Compound Archery Men’s Individual event. His dexterity and sporting spirit shine bright, and India is thrilled by this achievement.”