Ruman Shana, Bangladesh’s most successful archer, was present on Sunday as a guest of DT Locker Room, an initiative of Dhaka Tribune to catch up sports personalities live on facebook. During his chat with Fazley Rabbi of DT Sports, he mentioned many points. Sadman Ullah has depicted some of those points
Like any other athletes in the country ace archer Ruman Shana is passing his lockdown period by doing physical exercise regularly with proper guidance from archery federation and coaches via online. Currently, he is at his birthplace in Khulna, practicing only with the bow which was provided from the federation a few days ago. Now at home all the archers are practicing without the target board and arrow, he believes it will help to maintain their form when they will back to the field for real practice after this corona pandemic.
Beginning of the Journey
When the premier archer of the country was recalling his beginning of his career in the show, he said he had struggled to spell archery. But he felt in love with the sports instantly in the field as he claimed it was like "Love at first sight". The 25-year old archer was trained by Bangladesh archery's first international gold medalist Sajjad Hossain during his early age. He had connected the game with his childhood memory of playing bow-arrow, which was made of household materials. TV shows like "Robin Hood" was also inspired him to learn the sport properly. When he was in class nine he was selected by the Archery Federation and traveled at BKSP in Dhaka from Khulna for professional training.
Recurve or Compound
Recurve archery is the only discipline of archery featured at the Olympic Games, which is Shana's main discipline in his career. When he started his career recurve was archery’s only event played in Bangladesh. He explained that recurve is harder than compound, because of the bow structure and the system of play. Recurve discipline players train themselves from early age because recurve bow has to adjust with the body. If it does not fit, it becomes harder for the archers and then they have to switch in compound discipline. Compound archery, which has position in all the archery events in the world except Olympic may be learned in few months as Shana said many archers in Bangladesh have switched from recurve to compound and have tasted success. He wishes to play in the compound discipline when he would not perform well in recurve.
Training in Archery
Archers require keeping themselves fit like all other physical sportsmen; they have to ensure their running and gym activities in every training session. Bangladesh's best archer said they have to run or go to the gym 15 days before every event besides the main training with bow and arrow. In all events of archery games, the players have to stand with a heavy bow and continue the game before elimination. For that, they must have a good function of lungs, which will help a lot to continue their games in heat.
2019 Success and Sponsorship
Last year was like a fairy-tale for Bangladesh archery and its poster boy Shana who earned direct qualification for the Olympics with Bangladesh's maiden medal (bronze) at the World Championship before winning three gold medals on his debut appearance at the South Asian Games. The top Bangladeshi archer also grabbed a gold medal in the men's recurve singles in the Asia Cup World Ranking Archery Tournament. From all those achievements, Shana expressed that bronze medal at the World Championship which helped to seal the quota place in Olympics was the 2019's best moment for him. He also bagged the World Archery Breakthrough Athlete of the Year award for 2019.
Shana is the only archer in the country right now who has a personal sponsor. Win & Win, the Korean archery goods supplier company sponsors him his bow set which approximately costs Tk 3 lakh. After all the success he achieved last year, they have also sponsored Shana's full team. City Group (Teer), the sponsor of Bangladesh Archery Federation, awarded Tk 2 lakh to Shana after the World Championship. He expects other companies and elite personals will also come forward to help the current and upcoming archers for a bright future.
Due to Covid-19 pandemic, this year's Tokyo Olympics has been postponed and moved to the next year, which put Shana's dream on hold to participate in the mega event. The success from last year in archery made people believe that he could bring the untouched medal to the country. But he is keeping his foot on the ground and expects to qualify for the quarter-final round at his first appearance. He believes he can improve his game and expects to perform well in 2028 Olympics also.