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How Rajat Chauhan became India's first medal winner at World Archery

Speaking to IBNLive, Chauhan revealed about his hunger to succeed, his road to success and how he once wanted to be among the thick of things while growing up.

Sajal K Patra | News18.com

Updated:August 8, 2015, 6:40 PM IST
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How Rajat Chauhan became India's first medal winner at World Archery
Speaking to IBNLive, Chauhan revealed about his hunger to succeed, his road to success and how he once wanted to be among the thick of things while growing up.
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Born in a middle-class family, Rajat Chauhan often dreamt of making it big in international archery. As the saying goes, if you aim the sky, you will land up among the stars and Chauhan sure did as he bagged India's first ever individual medal, a silver, at the World Archery Championships last week.

Speaking to IBNLive, Chauhan revealed about his hunger to succeed, his road to success and how he once wanted to be among the thick of things while growing up.

Talking about how he felt after winning the silver medal, Chauhan said, "I am very happy, not only because I won but because I became the first ever medal winner for my country, though it also comes with a tinge of sorrow for missing out the gold, especially when you have come that close."

Compound Archery started in India pretty late, in the year 2004, and while it is not considered an archery discipline in Olympics, Chauhan seems to have mastered the art to the tee.

Speaking about his love for the game, and how it all started, the silver medalist of World Archery Championship said, "In 2005-06, I, along with my elder brother, used to learn Taekwondo. My brother had a green belt in Taekwondo and I had a yellow belt. I started it during the summer camps back then. Then I left Taekwondo and started studying. But my brother told me to concentrate on sports which might help me get a job in future. As I was thinking which sport to pick among so many like badminton and tennis, I made up my mind to go for something which is not copy book and is a bit different from mainstream sports.

"Just like that, I started off with archery. I went to Sawai Man Singh Stadium and the first field was that of archery. I didn't go any further and started training under Mr. Kamlesh Sharma."

Chauhan had his fair share of struggles and the Gold medal winner of Asian Games 2014 stated, "My family gave me great support right from the beginning, so did the Rajasthan Sports Association. I have stayed in their hostel for threeyears and got trained there.

"In 2011, in order to get in the team, I had to get a new bow. My old bow was not giving me scores and so I had to change it. My father sold his car to get me the bow and he never told me that he was short on cash. My sister was also doing her B.Tech and her fees also had to be taken care of. Sothe expenditure in that month amounted to around 7-8 lakhs."

Getting a new bow is no joke as the cost can go up to Rs. 3 lakhs, and considering Rajat's middle-class background, it was a huge amount.

Talking about missing out on the Olympics as Compound archery is not a discipline at the Games, the 21-year-old said, "To be honest, it doesn't matter that much in my life. When I started off I knew that Compound archery was not part of Olympics and I always did what I loved. I kept practicing and went ahead."

Dwelling on the loss in the final at the hands of Stephan Hansen, Chauhan added," I lost my timing and became a bit inconsistent. I never thought I will get an 8-pointer. I was looking for 9 but just missed the mark by millimeters. I just couldn't control it in that round but I would not put in an excuse. If I win, it is my victory and pretty much the same when I lose. These things happen in sport. I would like to learn from it and improve on my learnings. My loss will help me to win next time."

Chatting about his temperament and how to improve on it, Chauhan, before signing off said, " We practice a lot of yoga and that helps to control your emotions in crunch situations."

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