Ace archer Rahul Banerjee needs a sports psychologist

New Delhi: Disappointed to miss the Olympics cut in last month`s World Championships in Italy, ace Indian archer Rahul Banerjee today said he is in the look out for a sports psychologist to finetune the mental aspects of his game ahead of his remaining qualifying events.

Rahul, who missed a London ticket by just a single point in the World Championships, however is confident of qualifying for the mega-event, and said said he was concentrating on both mental and physical aspects of his game ahead of the next round of qualifiers in Ogden, USA.

"The World Championships did not go well for me. I was a bit unlucky. I was shooting well ahead of the tournament but somehow lost my rhythm during the competition," said Rahul, who was conferred with the Arjuna Award yesterday.

"I am now concentrating on mental as well as physical aspects of my game, particularly the mental side of it. I am also looking for a sports psychologist," insisted the archer, who did not feature in the Indian squad for the World Cup Stage III and IV following his poor run at the World Championships.”

Rahul also said that he had already requested the Archery Association of India (AAI) in helping him find a sports psychologist but till date he has not received any positive response from the national federation`s side.

He, however, reiterated that his primary goal is to qualify for next year`s London Games and the Arjuna Award bring with it an added responsibility to perform better for the country.

"Getting the Arjuna is one of the proud moments of my life. It feels great to be honoured, but it also puts an added responsibility on your shoulders when you represent your country next time around," Rahul said while talking to the reporters on the sidelines of a felicitation function organised by his employers, Indian Railways.

The Indian Railways today presented the Arjuna Awardees associated with it with a letter of appreciation and a cheque of Rs five lakh each for their exploits at the international stage.

A total of six Arjuna Awardees including Rahul, ace athlete Preeja Sreedharan, Asian Games bronze medal winning gymnast Ashish Kumar, Asian Games bronze medalist wrestler Ravinder Singh, men`s and women`s kabbadi team captains V Tejaswini Bai and Rakesh Kumar and part of the India`s gold winning men`s kabbadi team, were today felicitated by the Railways.

Talking to the reporters on the occasion, Preeja said she was elated at being conferred with the Arjuna Award but maintained that her aim is to make the podium in the London Olympics.

"It feels great. The next target will be to win a medal for my country at the Olympics," said Preeja.

Asked about the doping scandal which rattled the Indian athletics recently, she said, "I am working hard on my fitness. Those (doping) things have no bearing on my training. I am just concentrating in the upcoming competitions."


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