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I am the first sportsperson from my family set to compete at the international level, says young archer Priyansh

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The class 12 student of Apeejay School, Noida, who will represent India at the World Youth Archery Championship 2021, talks about his learnings

Priyansh at one of his practice sessions

The Tokyo Olympics 2020 has recently commenced and India is prepared to put its best foot forward in archery. Players such as Deepika Kumari, Atanu Das, Tarundeep Rai and Pravin Jadhav are representing the country this year.

Priyansh, a class 12 student of Apeejay Noida, who has won a silver medal at the Junior Archery National-Level Championship in India, relates his first brush with the sport. He chanced upon the game on a summer vacation trip to the Yamuna Sports Complex Archery Ground, located in Karkardooma, Delhi. Little did he know, he would soon be spending more than 12 hours a day on the field, practising and perfecting his skills. He recalls trying to get good academic grades to impress his parents so that they allow him to play the game.

“I remember my initial days at the Academy when I barely knew anyone. Abhishek Verma, a gold and silver medallist at the 2014 Asian Games, whom I idiolise was the first person I spoke to. He made me feel very comfortable as I sat with him in the canteen. Since that time, I have admired his humility. I also look up to his game as he delivers the number of shots he commits. He is always spot on and rarely misses a mark,” says Priyansh.   

The young player started training in compound-bow archery in 2020, and within a year and a half aced the game to be able to participate in an International-level championship. He credits his coaches Lokesh Chand Pal and Ajit Kumar for guiding him throughout. At present, the young archer is preparing for the World Youth Archery Championship due to be held in Poland from Aug 5 – Aug 19, 2021. His mantra for steadying his mind before a match? “Just breathe!”

“During the lockdown, it became difficult to be able to practice the sport. I then began with 18-metre shooting, and gradually built up strength and capability to be able to perform at the game.” 

-Priyansh, Student, Apeejay School, Noida

Mrini Devnani is Senior Correspondent (Newsroom). She covers student achievements, interviews and contributions for the website. She was a former Correspondent covering Edutech for the India Today Group, and has a passion for Social Media and Digital Marketing. You can reach her at [email protected]

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