Harvinder prevailed in three thrilling shoot-offs through the knockouts to win bronze in men’s individuals recurve open event at the Tokyo Paralympics. He remembers his focus being drawn away from 12.2 centimeter 10-point archery target placed 70metres away. He was at pre-Paralympics training camp at the SAI campus in Sonipat when Tarundeep Rai and Atanua Das walked in, fresh from their Olympic sojourn. It was a distraction for the 29-year-old, but a welcomed one.
Harvinder Singh remembers his focus being drawn away from 12.2 centimetres 10-point Archery target placed 70 metres away. He was at a pre-paralympic training camp at the SAI campus in Sonipat when Tarundeep Rai and Atanu Das walked in l, fresh from their Olympic Sojourn. It’s was a distraction for a 29 year old, but a welcomed one.He got to chatting with the duo, asking them about the conditions he should expect when he competed at the Yamenoshima Park at Tokyo. Those few insights were all he needed to win India’s medal. Harvinder scored perfect 10 in the shoot-off to beat South Korea’s Kim Min Su 6-5 to earn bronze in the third played playoff.
“They told me not to go after shooting a 10 while there is wind or rain. In rain, the arrow gets a bit heavier and that’s what made things difficult here. There was of course the pressure of the competition but I am glad that I could win India’s first medal in archery in Olympic or Paralympics.
At the age of one, his legs stopped functioning properly after the medicine he was administrated for treating dengue fever had an adverse reaction on his body. It didn’t stop him from being a good student though. Not just in school but also in life. It was this desire to learn new things that helped him stumble onto archery. Having gained a keen interest in sports while watching the 2012 Olympic Games, Singh wasted no time in pursuing it and enrolled in an archery the very next day.
Singh would never skip archery practice and the results were there to be seen as he won several medals at the national level. His performance gave local coaches the belief that he could make a career out of a sport he started following purely as an additional interest.