Ace Indian archer Dola Banerjee has had superb Commonwealth Games where she won a gold in the team event and a bronze in the individual. She is additionally happy that Indian archers and specially her brother Rahul have done so well.
In a candid chat with Zeenews.com’s Biswajit Jha, Dola shares her CWG experience and future goals.
How do you feel after doing so well in CWG?
It’s a fantastic feeling of winning medals for India. I am really very very happy.
What about after both you and your brother won gold in different events?
Actually it’s the first time we did well together. Sometimes he does well…sometimes I do well. But it’s a great feeling that we both have done well this time.
Are you disappointed after missing out on the individual gold medal?
I won gold in compound archery which is a team event. It would have been nice if I could have won individual gold too. But I am happy that at least the gold medal was won by an Indian archer (Deepika Kumari). I am proud for her.
Tell us something about Deepika Kumari who is just 16.
Deepika is really talented girl. She has made us proud at such a young age. She is a huge prospect for India.
How is the future of archery in India?
Future is very bright. So many talented boys and girls are coming up…Deepika, Rahul…all are really talented. They will bring more laurels to the country. Probably an Olympic gold in archery is not far away.
What is your next goal?
My next goal is to do well in Asian Games next month. Winning medals in Asiad will be tough as Korean archers will be there.
You must be given a grand welcome when you return to your hometown Kolkata…
We are already getting a huge response in Delhi, so you can imagine what it would be in Kolkata. But I won’t be having much time to cherish my CWG success, as we have to prepare for the Asian Games which is next month.
You won World Cup in 2007. But your form suffered a slump after that. What was the reason?
It happens in sports. I suddenly lost my form. That’s why I could not do well in Beijing Olympics. But after that I won gold again at SAAF Games and since then things have been fine.
How is Limba Ram as a coach?
Limba bhaiya is a great help. He is always there to help us. His knowledge of the game is enormous.
Will Delhi CWG usher a new era in Indian Olympic sports?
Definitely… the kind of publicity we got will really help us in the long run. Hopefully, there will be a lot of people taking up these sports.
How did you feel before the games when you heard about all the negative things regarding the preparation for CWG?
It definitely hurt us. At that time we were preparing hard for the event…it hurt our morale.
After delivering the CWG, do you think India is now ready to host Olympics?
I don’t think India is ready. Hosting CWG and Asian Games is very different from organizing Olympics which is such huge event. Though we finally managed to organize the CWG, the way we organized it is very disheartening…we had a big task of finishing it…we had to struggle so hard in organizing the CWG…Olympics is a far bigger event compared to CWG. We better prepare for Asian Games first and then think of hosting of Olympics.
Are the foreign athletes happy after coming to India?
Though there were some problems initially, they are happy now. They really liked the Indian food in Games Village.
Thanks Dola for talking to us. Hope you bring more laurels to the country in future.
Thanks a lot.