Indian archer Tarundeep Rai, 36, was planning to retire in August this year but has decided to extend his professional career until after the Olympics takes place in 2021.
To keep himself in shape for the showpiece event, the archer from Sikkim has intensified his focus on physical fitness.
“I will do everything and train hard to win a medal (at the Olympics),” Tarundeep Rai told The Indian Express.
“I am concentrating on building muscles and fitness. If I do not take care of it now, chances of injury can increase.”
Physical training is also Tarundeep Rai’s way of keeping himself in competition with the emerging generation of archers.
“In this one year, many 20 to 22-year-olds will come up and compete for a place in the team. I think by building shoulder muscles, I will be able to withstand the challenges ahead,” the archer had told the Press Trust of India.
Far from home
While spending more time with family has been a silver lining for most athletes during the ongoing lockdown, Tarundeep Rai has not had that luxury.
The archer, who represented India at the 2004 and 2012 Olympics, is currently holed up at the Army Sports Institute in Pune and where he spends time dry practising, over and above his fitness drills.
However, the Sikkim-born wants to visit his family once the lockdown is lifted and before the Olympic preparations restart in full flow.
“I must have spent only around six months with my son, who is eight years old, due to my training schedule,” Tarundeep Rai pointed out.
“It has been a while that I have been home. I am thinking of going back to meet my family after the lockdown for a week or so, but flights and all have to resume too.
“With training expected to be in full tilt after things settle down, I will not get time closer to the Olympics,” he added.