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From Grief to Glory: Amit Kumar won Gold at Youth World Championship Just Months After Losing Mother

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Introduction

Amit Kumar is another prodigious male archer from Madhya Pradesh Archery Academy (MPAA). He hails from Mathura, Uttar Pradesh. After having won gold silver and bronze medals in the sub-junior, junior, and senior age groups respectively, Amit hogged the limelight by winning a gold medal in the Youth World Championship in Poland in 2021. Amit Kumar has represented Madhya Pradesh in various national championships in archery. He has won more than 12 medals in national-level competitions so far.

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The Beginning of Amit Kumar

Amit’s mother passed away after suffering from Covid-19 in May 2021 while his father was a truck driver. However, his father has left truck driving and presently earns little from farming. Amit did not have any idea about the game. Rather Amit had an interest in cricket. His one uncle who lived in Jabalpur took initiative to get Amit admitted to the MPAA under the careful guidance of Richpal Singh Saloria. Amit could not afford to buy his bow and arrows. He was given a bow and a set of arrows by coach Richpal. Amit said,

“It was not possible for my father to afford to buy the bow and arrows. I got it from the academy and practiced almost six-seven hours every day to master this new game.”

The Financial crisis

Amit informed as his father is aged now and left driving to continue earning from farming, archery became quite expensive for them.

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The 19-year-old archer revealed,

“I still do not have my own bow and arrows. I take the instruments from the academy when I go to participate in different competitions. Even my instruments were taken from the academy when I won the gold medal in the Youth World Championship in Poland’s Rocklaw City in 2021.” Amit has been receiving a scholarship from the Union sports ministry through the Khelo India project and he asserted, “I must purchase a bow and arrows within a couple of months.”

The Psychological Strength

Amit’s mother’s demise in May 2021 destroyed him psychologically. However, he returned to archery within a couple of months and won a gold medal in the Youth World Championship in September same year thanks to Amit’s father and Richpal Singh for their continuous motivation. Amit stated,

“I shrugged off all the mental depression and fully immersed myself in preparing for the world championship. I was all fired up to participate despite the pandemic.”

Richpal also is highly impressed to have watched Amit’s mental strength and commented,

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“I have hardly seen any young archer who possessed such tremendous psychological strength. I have doubts whether any other player would have been able to perform in an international competition within only three months of mother’s death.”

Amit had to face another crucial setback in his career so far. In March 2021, before his mother’s demise, Kumar was traveling by train along with his teammates to participate in the Dehradun national championship, and his compartment caught fire. All equipment completely burnt. Amit remembered,

“We barely came out alive. But at the same time, we lost all our equipment in the fire. However, we still won the silver medal after hastily arranging for bows and arrows overnight.”

The Aim of Amit Kumar

Amit could not sustain his performance in the first selection trials for major competitions this year including the Asian Games. He crashed out of the top 24 in the selection trial held in Kolkata.

He knows that he will have to start from zero again. Still, Amit did not sound bothered as he mentioned,

“I have a long way to go. So I am not much upset now. I have started dreaming of Olympic medals from now on.” 


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