Champia, the sole archer to fight in Rio Olympics individually, wants to take classes of Beltrame

Sudeep Sarkar / 08 August 2015

Mangal Singh Champia, the only archer in the Indian archery squad to have ensured a berth in the Rio Olympics in individual category, seems overjoyed with the achievement. The 31-year-old archer from Echakuti village in Jharkhand, around two-hour by bus from Jamshedpur, has achieved the feat after reaching the quarterfinal of the World Championship, held in Copenhagen Denmark recently. Champia failed to get into the Indian team in the last London Olympics in 2012 being eliminated in the trials. Speaking on the occasion, Champia said, “I still cannot believe that I have been able to ensure the ticket for Rio. All credit should go to my coaches in Meerut academy and my current national coaches who have been extremely inspiring all the moments.”

Champia, in spite of being elated with his success, has started mental preparation for the Olympics. Champia who was one of the bronze winning members of the Indian team in the Doha Asian Games in 2006, informed that as he has been enlisted in the TOP (Target Olympics Podium) scheme of the Union sports ministry he will submit his preparation planning to the Union sports ministry soon after returning from Poland where Indian male and female archery teams have gone to take part in a championship. And Champia’s one of the key plans is to go to USA, at least two weeks before the Olympics to have psychological classes under renowned sports motivator Lorenjo Beltrame. Champia said, “We have heard that Sports Authority of India (SAI) and the Archery Federation of India are planning to bring Beltrame before the Olympics for the archery team. But Beltrame demands astronomical fees for one class, around 4000 dollars! Naturally, I have doubt whether this US motivator can be brought at all. So, I am planning to go there for the mental training. In archery, mental strength and concentration has a huge role to determine the performance.” 

The Arjuna awardee archer also wants to take advice from legendary Indian archer Limba Ram before starting extensive training for the Olympics. He clarified, “I have grown up in my village having heard about Limba sir. I can remember, my elder brother told me in 1992, amidst the enthusiasm over World Cup cricket among the sports fanatics all the country, Limba Ram’s news of putting good performance in the Barcelona Olympics in the same year was also highlighted by the media. And since that period I had borne the dream of meeting Limba sir and playing under his observation. That dream was fulfilled as Limba sir was with the Indian squad as coach. Now, before going to Rio I would like to take advice on technique from the master.”

Champia, having started his journey at the Coal India archery academy in Ranchi, was shifted to archery academy in Meerut later. And his life changed in 2006 when he was chosen in the Indian squad for the Asian Games. In the same year, renowned sports foundation, Mittal Sports Foundation came forward to sponsor him. But according to Champia that sponsorship ended in 2012. The archer, making a lot of appreciation for Mittal Group, said, “My performance in the national and international level thrived after Mittal Sports Foundation started supporting me. But now also I have been receiving fantastic support from OGQ (Olympic Gold Quest) also for last three years. And their support is inspiring me to get lured for even a medal in the Rio.”

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