Archery was always associated with boredom for Rahul Banerjee, the 2011 Arjuna Award winner. When he was a child, he would be sent with elder sister Dola who would practice at the Baranagar Archery club near his house. Rahul would sit around, fidgeting with her equipment. Ironically, this is what paved the way to his current accomplishments: several gold medals in team events at the Archery World Cup in 2008 and 2009 and the men’s individual recurve gold medal of the Commonwealth Games in 2010. His first victory was at the Bengal sub-junior Archery team in1998 at the age of 12 where he won a Gold medal in the national championships.
THE JOURNEY He was spotted by Lim Chae Woong, the South Korean coach of the Indian team at the time, who recommended him to the Tata Archery Academy in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand in 2002. “Joining TAA was a big risk for a boy from a Bengali middle class family. I had to leave school and there was nothing I could fall back on if I failed.” says Rahul. Contact: email@example.com
■ by Partha Dasgupta
“He is certainly one of the best archers in the world and can only get better” PARESH MUKHERJEE, SECRETARY, ARCHERY ASSOCIATION OF INDIA
“Hunger for success is the only thing that
keeps me going”