“From Tokyo to Paris” is a WhatsApp text which is still unread by Divyansh Singh Panwar. The message was sent by his childhood coach Deepak Dubey, who feels it is time for his Arjun to forget about the Tokyo Olympics and start things from scratch.
“The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don’t tell you what to see,” Deepak Dubey recites a quote by Guru Dronacharya.
And he is right.
As a teacher, he plans to help Divyansh Singh Panwar overcome the horrors of the Tokyo Olympics and set sight on Paris Games. He has even laid down a rough roadmap for the 19-year-old shooter. But the hard work, dedication and willpower to regroup and re-compose is something only Divyansh can do.
Deepak Dubey had an exclusive chat with Throneofgadget. He said:
“He was very upset after exit. Divyansh certainly wasn’t expecting such a bad performance from him. When I called him he kept crying. Even when he landed his head down as if he had committed a crime. It was certainly disheartening.”
Divyansh Singh Panwar took up shooting in 2014 at the age of 12. He initially used his elder sister Anjali’s weapons at the Jagatpura Shooting Range in Jaipur. In 2017, his father became worried by his “PUBG addiction” and enrolled him at the Dr.Karni Singh Shooting Range in New Delhi under Deepak Dubey.
However, Deepak believes this “PUBG addiction” shows how much dedication Divyansh Singh Panwar has.
“He is a very dedicated boy. If he decides he needs to do something he will give his all,” he says.
Sadly, things did not go the way the Rajasthan-born shooter wanted at the Tokyo Olympics.
Divyansh Singh Panwar was amongst the favorites to finish at the podium in the 10m air rifle. Instead, the shooter finished 32nd with a score of 622.8 and failed to qualify for the finals. Even at mixed events, where the youngster partnered with Elavenil Valarivan, he finished 12th.
Deepak says, it certainly affected Divyansh’s psyche. Deepak continues to keep a strong face but is also worried about his student’s mental health. He cites Vinesh Phogat’s example, who recently revealed she was struggling mentally and added failures like these can take a toll mentally.
“I was shocked when Vinesh Phogat talked about the mental health issue. In India, it is still not a common thing. I have tried talking to Divyansh but he is yet to open up completely. I am letting him take his time to process things but it also worries me. Failure at an event which would have changed his life if the result was otherwise can affect mentally,” he says.
Worried about the mental health, Deepak now plans to take Divyansh between nature to help the youngster find peace before resuming training.
“I understand it will not be easy. But he has to do it. For now, he is busy with all the Independence Day functions but once he returns, we will go to Morni hills in Uttarakhand. Will do some yoga and trekking there. It will be a change of environment for him which will help him rejuvenate,” Deepak says.
Dissecting Divyansh Singh Panwar’s Olympics performance
Deepak Dubey said Saurabh Chaudhary’s result had a direct impact on Divyansh Singh Panwar’s performance.
Saurabh Chaudhary was everything the shooting team stood for in the pre-Olympics. He has been consistent since 2018, brimming with confidence and was the medal favorite. And he did stand by all these claims – until the qualifications of 10m air pistol.
The 19-year-old ranked number one in the qualifying round. Just when India rose up to the news of a potential second Olympic medal – after Mirabai Chanu’s silver in weightlifting – the unprecedented happened.
Saurabh Chaudhary finished seventh out of eight shooters in the finals. Deepak Dubey says this impacted the confidence of the entire shooting contingent.
“It is still hard to believe that a team which was predicted to have at least 3-4 medals returned with none. I feel Saurabh Chaudhary’s exit had left everyone shocked. He was in good form, was shooting well but when he could not change it all into an Olympic medal, everyone including Divyansh started questioning their own ability mentally,” he says.
According to Deepak Dubey, Divyansh Singh Panwar also underperformed due to mismanagement and lack of harmony amongst the coaches.
“I recently learnt that the coaches kept taking trials to decide the final list for mixed team. It is certainly not a good sign for any athlete. So close to the Olympics you want to stay calm and not have these worries. Then during the competition coaches failed to motivate these young shooters,” he says.
Deepak Dubey added that the federation needs to start preserving its best shooters for big tournaments just like South Korea and China. The International Shooting Federation (ISSF) is planning to remove the World Cups from Olympic qualification, restricting quota places to world and continental championships.
“This way they will remain a mystery to their competitors and also can focus on their diet, training and gameplans,” Deepak says welcoming the big overhaul.
Deepak Dubey, though, is not looking too far ahead. He plans to start things from scratch with a focus on nationals.
“He has cut his hair shorts. He says will not grow them until he brings an Olympic medal. Will start things from zero and focus on the very basics first that is to calm ourselves during pressure situations. Our focus will be the national championship followed by the Worlds,” Deepak says.
Also Read: ISSF working on overhauling qualification system for Paris Olympics 2024
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