Internationally successful archer Ruman Sana's failure in the Bangabandhu 9th Bangladesh Games is one of the talking points in sports arena, especially as he gets prepared for July's Tokyo Olympics.
Although the recently-concluded Games saw the emergence of a host of new talents, it is the poor form of Ruman that is becoming a cause for concern for everyone.
The 24-year-old had become a centre of attention since qualifying for Tokyo Olympics and then winning three gold medals in the South Asian Games.
However, he has hit a bad patch of form of late, following the coronavirus-induced break, failing to finish top in last three competitions -- Victory Day Archery Competition, National Archery Championship and the Bangladesh Games. National team's coach Martin Frederick, though, is still not losing hope with Ruman.
Frederick will conduct a three-day selection competition starting from today to pick the squad for two international tournaments -- Archery World Cup in Switzerland from May 16-22 and Olympic Qualifying tournament in France from June 20-26, with some 23 players -- 12 in recurve events and 11 in compound events.
Ruman is gearing up for the selection competition to regain his supremacy and he believes he would get back his rhythm match by match.
"Apart from my shoulder injuries which I sustained soon after returning to the national camp after the lockdown in the latter part of last year, I also lacked confidence in domestic competitions because I was afraid of losing to junior players," Ruman told The Daily Star.
"A player may go through a bad time, but it doesn't mean he has lost everything. I have taken a lesson from those mistakes and am looking forward to coming back strongly.
"I have been shooting well in practice and also getting back confidence gradually. I think this problem will be solved as I play in more competitions," said Ruman, who finished top in qualification round of Bangladesh Games but was eliminated from the pre-quarterfinals.
Ruman was also beaten in the elimination round in two more tournaments as a group of young players like Abdur Rahman Alif, Abdul Hakim Rubel, Ram Krishna Saha and Tamimul Islam have consistently been challenging Ruman in domestic circuit.
"The competition among the local players have increased more than any other time in the past because all the players have been training under Fredrick, so they have also improved in technique, confidence and temperament," admitted Ruman, adding that the recurve team is now more stronger than before.
Frederick still wants to bank on Sana ahead of the Olympics, but he believes competition in domestic circuit has increased.
"It is a positive aspect that nobody is guaranteed to win a match and everyone has to fight in every elimination round. That is really good for Bangladeshi archery," said Martin.
"The elimination round [Bangladesh Games] was extremely high level and then he [Ruman] was eliminated from the second match of the elimination round which was really bad for him. Thing is that he is going through ups and downs and he needs more consistency in results and ability, which is what we are working on. His qualification round is alright. He is number one. He shows good signs of scores but sometime moment to moment, he can't find the right shot but still he is my best man and there is no doubt," added Frederick.