Komalika Bari is back on track

Archer Komalika Bari first stood out after her stellar rise as a promising junior at world level. Like Deepika Kumari a decade earlier, Komalika won the cadet (2019) and junior world championships (2021). However, Bari struggled to find her way around the senior circuit.

The trio of Deepika, Bari and Ankita Bhakat failed to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, despite holding hopes on the back of some solid performances throughout the World Cup stages.

The 20-year-old has yet to adjust to the pressure to compete at the highest level and hopes to be at her best next year to qualify for the Paris Olympics. In addition to making some changes to her technique, Bari is also working on developing her mental strength.

“The World Cup season has not gone well and I need to boost my confidence. I was depressed. I’m going to work on that,” says Bari. “There’s always a little bit of pressure once you get to the top level because I’ve reached that level where good performance is expected of me. The challenge would be to maintain and improve my position. Now every small win and every loss is important to me. Working with a psychologist has helped me focus on the present and get carried away with the results.”

“My psychologist tells me to focus on my process and not on results. When I do that, I stay in the present and the results automatically come.”

In that regard, Bari is happy to follow this strategy at the National Games in Ahmedabad, where she won silver in the team event and bronze in the mixed team. During the 4th leg of the Archery World Cup in Colombia in July, she had lost in the second round. Before that, Bari was eliminated in the first round in Gwangju and suffered another defeat in the second round in Antalya. At last year’s Asian Championships, she lost in the quarter-finals, but did well to win gold in the mixed team with Paras Hooda.

“After Colombia I got some time to work on my game and the National Games were a chance to judge myself and I think I’m on the right track. The competition was at a good level and we missed the gold in team event in shoot-off to Haryana. Yes, I could have done better in the individual competition.”

Her coach Purnima Mahato from TATA Academy in Jamshedpur says she is still a work in progress.

“Her performance is still not stable,” admits Purnima.

“She has to work hard and she’s getting better and better. But her level has to go up, otherwise it’s going to be difficult at a global level with the kind of scores she’s getting now. She’s very capable. We’ve made some changes in her technique and it will take some time. take to get used to,” adds Purnima.

“The qualifying cycle of the Paris Olympics will start next year and it will be more difficult this time due to the changes they have made. We have to be ready for that.”

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