Just a month ago during the Archery World Cup (Stage-2) in Shanghai, Bangladesh’s best prospect Ruman Sana was eliminated from the third round in recurve men’s individual event following defeat against world’s fourth-ranked archer Sjef Van Den Berg of Netherlands.
It was an unexpected defeat for Ruman, who had produced world-class performance to reach the final of Asia Cup (Stage-1) in Thailand earlier in March.
Following that defeat, Ruman trained for one month under Martin Frederick before stepping into the Archery World Championships where some 200 archers from 92 countries including giants South Korea, Netherlands, Chinese Taipei and India are competing.
Interestingly, yesterday Ruman beat Van Den Berg [currently the seventh-ranked player in the world] in the quarterfinals, thereby becoming the only athlete from Bangladesh to ensure direct qualification for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
On way to reaching the semifinals, Ruman registered five victories, with the most remarkable one coming against South Korea’s Kim Woojin [the top-ranked player in May] in the pre-quarterfinals. Ruman held his nerve to beat Woojin by 6-4 set points and then did not allow any room to Van Den Berg in a 6-2 set points victory.
“I can’t express my feeling properly, but I feel really proud because I know qualifying for Olympics is a big achievement,” Ruman told The Daily Star over phone from Netherlands yesterday.
“I am really overwhelmed that media is writing about me and I’m getting a lot of congratulatory messages through social network,” said the lad from Khulna, who started playing international archery in 2010 after being picked up through a talent hunt programme in 2008.
“I want to thank Allah for allowing me to earn such a feat. I also want to thank all my coaches including Martin Frederick,” Ruman said. “I had the target of playing the quarterfinals, but I surpassed that target due to valuable experience gained from international tournaments.”
Ruman played three international tournaments and the national championship before taking part in World Archery Championship this year and he scored his career-best of 681 points in qualification in the Asia Cup in March.
“Now, I don’t fear or feel nervous against any opponent. I can keep my nerves strong and throw the arrows smoothly. It is possible because of playing international tournaments regularly. Thanks to sponsors City Group and archery federation for giving me the opportunity to compete at international level,” said Ruman.
“I don’t want to stop here. I want to perform well in Tokyo Olympics and I am hopeful that I can do it. However, I have to work harder to improve and I believe I am ready for the hard work,” said Ruman.
The young archer, who will compete against Italy’s Mauro Nespoli for the bronze medal tomorrow, has no regrets for not confirming the final berth after losing to Malaysia’s Khairul Anuar.