Updated: October 27, 2019 1:01:26 pm
THE LAST three months have seen Punjabi University, Patiala archer 28-year-old Harvinder Singh making notes for his PhD in Economics apart from attending the national camp in SAI, Rohtak for the Asian Para Archery Championships. Earlier this week, Singh along with Rajesh Kumar of Rohtak and Vivek Chikara of Meerut won the team bronze medal in the men’s recurve event with a 6-2 win over Malaysia in the Asian Para Archery Championships held in Bangkok, Thailand and it meant that the archer will now have some free time for his studies. Singh finished a credible sixth in the individual event after a tough loss in the quarter-finals.
“Prior to the training camp in Rohtak, I studied to prepare my PhD notes apart from training under Gaurav Sharma sir at Punjabi University grounds at Patiala. It meant that I would wake up early to prepare the notes to utilise my training time to the fullest before we joined the national camp. We were ranked first in Asian Para Archery Championships and we expected to reach the final. But a narrow loss against Indonesia meant that we had to fight for the bronze medal against Malaysia. We played according to our strategy and this bronze medal will boost our confidence. It’s the first time that the Indian team has won a medal in Asian Para Archery Championship and we will aim for more medals in the coming year,” said Singh after reaching India Saturday.
Singh, who belongs to Ajitnagar village in Haryana’s Kaithal district, had started archery in 2012 on the insistence of coach Jiwanjot Singh Teja at Punjabi University grounds. Singh had suffered from a disability in his left leg since childhood due to a wrong injection given by a local doctor.
Last year, Singh had become the first Indian archer to win a gold medal in Para Asian Games in Indonesia, when he won the title in W2/S2 category. Earlier in June this year, Singh had earned the quota place for India for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics with a joint-ninth finish in the World Para Archery Championships in Netherlands.
In Bangkok, Singh suffered a 2-6 loss against Park Jun Beom but the archer is confident of a fine show in the coming year in preparation for the Indian team trials for Tokyo Paralympics.
“The gold medal in Asian Para Games was a confidence booster for me as it was the first medal for para archers in Asian Para games in India. Earning the Paralympics quota for India early this year in World Championships also helped my confidence a lot. We will be competing in some indoor tournaments in USA before competing in the Fazza Cup, Dubai and World Ranking Tournament in Czech Republic next year. The Sports Ministry has been providing us all the support for travel and competing in International tournaments and I aim to utilise these tournaments to prepare for trials. If I get selected in the Indian team for Tokyo Paralympics, competing in these tournaments will help me in Tokyo,” said Singh.
Coach Gaurav Sharma, who was with the Indian team in Thailand, believes that Singh will only improve with more exposure. “Harvinder shot well in the individual event too and was unfortunate to miss on a medal. The conditions in Bangkok were tough as it was windy and humid. The team made a strong comeback to win the bronze medal and such medals always boost one’s confidence. The Indian team will be training in Korea as well Australia and Italy with the government’s support. Such exposure apart from competing in Dubai and Czech Republic will also help Harvinder,” said Sharma.
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