Twenty six year-old archer Tarundeep Rai is the lone representative of Sikkim in the ongoing Commonwealth Games. But, the Arjuna Award winner is determined to make the most out of it by winning a gold medal for India. In a telephonic conversation with Tilak Jha, a day before the games began, Rai talks about his preparations for the games and other interrelated issues. Excerpts:
Congratulations for participating in the Commonwealth Games and representing your state.
Thank you very much. I am lucky to be one of the participants of the Commonwealth Games. I have aspired big and I hope that that I will rise to the occasion.
Archery is one game which is all about concentration. What do you do for concentration?
You have to observe your body and keep your mind stable to concentrate. This is what concentration is all about. I practice Yoga and try to be focused.
How did you get into archery?
I got into archery since childhood and I enjoy it a lot. But when you have to compete at international level, high level of motivation and professionalism is needed.
How much are you satisfied with your own preparation?
Preparations are never complete. It is a continuous process. You never know what will be the situation on the actual day of the competition. I have been preparing for two years for this moment. I hope that I will be able to give my best along with my fellow Indian players.
Whom will you give the credit for all of this?
You can’t give credit to any one person. Victory doesn’t come because of one person. When everyone performs optimally, victory comes. I would like to thank my coach, army and all my sporting colleagues who always inspire me.
What would you like to tell your parents for all your achievements?
I have not seen my parent for more than a year due to Commonwealth Games preparations. Now I want to win a gold medal and tell them that this was the reason why I could not see you for such a long time. Now, this has become a dream for me.
You are the only player representing your state. What would you like to tell to the youth of your state who want to build a career in sports?
It’s embarrassing that there is only one player from Sikkim. I want that there be many more players from the state playing for India in the times to come. The government is building sports infrastructure and there is a great future for Sikkimese who want to make a career in sports. They should target the next Commonwealth Games. Competition is never over for any sportsperson and they should prepare with a high morale.
You have participated and won national and international competitions. Which was the most memorable moment of your life?
The most memorable moment is yet to come. I think winning gold medal at the Olympics or the Commonwealth Games has to be memorable. I want to win a gold medal here and make this Commonwealth Games a memorable event of my life.