On Friday, Indian archer Atanu Das lost out to World no.8 Lee Seung-Yun in the pre-quarter finals and it was in some ways the cruellest of losses amid heavy rains that forced him to take off his signature glasses. In the ranking round, he came 5th, and won the round of 64 and round of 32, and looking extremely unflappable along the way. Taking aim amid heavy rain, Atanu went down 4-6 to World No.8 Lee Seung-Yun, who had already helped South Korea win the team gold at the event, by losing two sets and winning one while the rest two ended in ties.
The Indian lost 28-30, 30-28, 27-27, 27-28 28-28 to bring to an end the country’s medal-less campaign. Das summed up all our emotions, and also his in a Facebook post where he promised to come good in the future.He wrote: “Thank you everyone, I lost the match but there are thousands of good wishes and comments, so I feel that I didn’t lost the match, yes that was a good match… I will show the world again my love about archery, I will show a good archery again and again…. #JaiHind”
Here’s what some social media commentators wrote after Das’ loss:
Rahul Prince Its clear that you are the future of men’s archery in India..you have got a bright future..even you are younger than me,,,am taking you as an inspiration in my life…The three tens you scored in the 2nd round made me to become a fan of you…Eventhough you lost the match,,,,You made that korean to fear at you throughout the match…That is the fighting spirit which makes you unique..Dont be sad…Come back stronger in the next mega event and prove yourself..i have not seen a cooler guy than you in my life..how can you be so fearless even at those crucial moments..Oh my god..your nerves are steel man #proudIndian#chakde
Aarthi Elangovan Very well played.. it was a very close match.. you lost the match but you won our hearts.. you’re the best Indian archer in this Olympics.. All The Best for your future in archery…
Priyanka Das Rakshit I saw the match live, what a game it was, u gave a tough fight to the Korean archer, just missed going to the quarter final, we all r proud of u. Best of luck for future. (y)
Meera Jayakumar You really showed ur love on archery… your 10s still recap in our eyes… Long way to go… Many olympics and many medals to b explored… All d bst sir….
At 24, Das is still very young. He started archery at the age of 14, and moved to the Tata Archery Academy in 2008 where he trained under the coach Lim Chae Wong. He made his international debut in 2008 and edged out former Olympians Jayanta Talukdar and Mangal Singh Champia to qualify for his first Olympics.
At a time when the Olympics in India for ‘unruly entourages’ of the sports minister and mean comments by a page 3 celebrity, Das’ showing and comment shows that India has several gems who can achieve great things if they get the right facilities and support. The spirit is willing and we as a nation need to ensure that the flesh is not weak.