Chekrovolu Swuro came agonisingly close to fame, only to have the wind whisk it away from her. Taking aim at glory is not quite enough for an archer. For the arrow to chart a victorious course, it is equally important to have the wind in one’s favour. Lesson learned, she bowed out from the limelight that was so briefly hers to cherish.

Swuro made history as only the second athlete from the northeast Indian state of Nagaland to represent India at the Olympics. She represented India in numerous international competitions, where she participated in the women's individual and team events. She won medals at the national level and became a key figure in promoting archery in her home state. Yet, she sometimes wishes that life had been kinder to her, and her voice chokes with emotion as she recalls her heartbreak moment during the 2012 London Olympics.

Despite her strong performance throughout the competition, Swuro’s medal dreams were crushed when she was eliminated in the decisive round of 16. Her future prospects were eclipsed by the rise of another star — the teenage prodigy from Jharkhand, Deepika Kumari — who would go on to become India’s most decorated archer and the World No. 2.

Swuro has receded into the back pages of history. Today, she serves as a deputy superintendent in the Nagaland Armed Police. A mother and a homemaker, she leads a relatively quiet life. Yet, her brush with international sporting glory inspires many aspiring archers from India’s northeastern states to take up the sport.

In this episode of Almost Perfect, a series that examines the stories of Indian women athletes who competed alongside the stars but fell short of stardom, we hear from Chekrovolu Swuro about how she veered off target at a crucial moment in her life.
This show is produced by Confluence Media for Radio Azim Premji University.