Bangladesh’s best archer focused on next challenge: An Olympic medal
Ruman Shana became famous in Bangladesh after winning his nation’s first-ever Olympic quota place and world medal – bronze – at the 2019 Hyundai World Archery Championships in ’s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands in June.
It was just the beginning of what the 24-year-old expects to achieve in the sport.
“When I went back home [after the worlds], our federation, other sports federations and our national Olympic Committee congratulated me, they were happy and proud of what I did. Also, our prime minister,” said Ruman.
“I’m now a bit famous because my country is cricket-orientated, so I’m like a cricket player now, like well-known. I’m very excited, it still feels like a dream and I can’t believe I got it.”
Ruman is one of two archers representing Bangladesh at the fourth stage of the 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Berlin, Germany. It’s his first event since breaking through to the world podium. He wants to live up to the expectations he’s set for himself.
“The achievement [at the worlds] is because of hard work. I’m always working hard, my coach motivates me, I always try to do some extra practise, shoot one or two more ends, and I understand that when you start believing you can do it,” he said.
Having shot internationally on and off since 2011, Ruman started training with German-born coach Martin Frederick just over a year ago.
The new training regime has paid off. Martin’s regime has had a positive effect on all the archers on the team – and Ruman said his approach was key to their recent surge in form.
“I believe in Martin 100%, in all his abilities and capability as a coach. Our team is working hard and growing day by day,” he explained. “Our ranking at the worlds was top 10 and we are all so happy to have him as a coach. That’s why we are growing in a good way.”
Bangladesh’s recurve men’s team came fourth at the first stage of the 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Shanghai. Then the team made its first eliminations cut at a world championships this year in ’s-Hertogenbosch, beating Spain, 5-3, in the first round before losing to Korea, 6-2, in the second.
Ruman is not alone in Bangladesh. The team is improving together.
But the quiet, studious archer knows that by making one giant leap, he has only opened the door for the next.
“I want to continue this achievement. I also know mine and my country’s big dream now is for me to win a medal at the Olympics. My challenge is so big, so I want to work even more,” he said. “This is the biggest challenge of my life now.”
The fourth stage of the 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup takes place on 1-7 July in Berlin, Germany.