Imphal: Three archers of Assam Rifles, who won five gold, three silver and one bronze at the recently concluded the World Police and Fire Games held at Chengdu in China, were given a hero’s welcome at Imphal Airport in Manipur on Wednesday.
While Rifleman Gurumayum Robert Sharma, 27, who hails from Manipur’s Thangmeiband Polem Leikai in Imphal, bagged three gold medals in the compound bow archery events held from August 9 to 18; Rifleman Z Dimo from Nagaland’s Chakesang community clinched one gold, one silver and one bronze medals in the wooden bow events.
The lone Riflewoman Lydia Shimphrui, 29, from Kasom Khullen village in Kamjong district, also bagged one gold and two silver medals in the women’s category in the wooden bow events.
All the three archers are being trained by 9 Sector Assam Rifles under the aegis of HQ IGAR (South) in Manipur.
Speaking with EastMojo, the gold medallist archer, Robert Sharma, informed that he has been playing the game for the past 19 years since he was studying in Class VIII. After the striking victory at the world event, Sharma is now eyeing to become a world champion at the upcoming event in December.
In 2017, he also represented India and won three gold medals in the World Police and Fire Games held at Los Angeles in the United States.
On being asked about the skills and technique required to become a world champion, Sharma said: “Archery is a mental game, so we need to focus and concentrate physically and mentally before the game. With sound mind and mental, we can achieve the goals.”
Meanwhile, Lydia, who belongs to the Tangkhul Naga tribe, is the first woman from the community who joined the Assam Rifles in 2016. Before joining the forces, the woman archer was also trained at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and had won many medals and laurels in the national events. However, this is her maiden international event.
“I want to leave one message to the budding youngsters who wants to pursue their career in sports. If you have set your mind in sports other than studying, then try to reach to the highest level/platforms and achieve the goals,” said Lydia.
“Among our seven siblings, my younger sister always wanted to pursue her career in sports. And that is why she was trained at SAI and later joined the forces,” Lydia’s elder sister said.
The felicitation programme was organised by the Assam Rifles archers’ team, Tangkhul Shanao Long Imphal (TSLI), Tangkhul Katamnao Long Imphal (TKLI), Tangkhul Aze Katamnao Long (TAKL), Women Society Tribal Colony New Checkon, Kasom Khullen Village Authority, Kasom Khullen Youth Club, Kasom Khullen Shanao Long, Kasom Khullen Baptist Women Society, Nambashi Khullen, families and well-wishers.