Tokyo Olympics: How heart beat monitor measures an archer’s tension, pressure during a game

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July 30, 2021 6:26 PM

Deepika Kumari from India had her nerves under complete control during her match against Bhutan's Karma as her heart rate clocked 75 beats per minute only, as per the monitor.

The technology which in a way tracks the biometric data in real time is the first for the Olympics.

The Olympics, in itself, is one of the most satisfying viewing experiences for sports enthusiasts and leaves the audience thrilled to witness athletes from around the world competing across a myriad of sports. In a decision that will further add to the thrill of the sports, the organisers have decided to incorporate a vision-based heart-rate monitor for archery. The monitor will enable the audience to see the real-time heart rate of their athletes, the Indian Express reported. The technology which in a way tracks the biometric data in real time is the first for the Olympics.

Who brought the idea of a heart rate monitor?
The idea of a heart rate monitor was first mooted by the World Archery in the year 2010. The sports body had also got in touch with the Swiss company TABRASCO for the heart rate monitoring device which could be attached below the archer’s knee and gauge real time heart rate of the archer. After close to a decade since the idea was first proposed, the World Archery finally launched the heart rate monitor’s televised version in the ongoing Olympics.

Tom Dielen who is the secretary general of World Archery was quoted as saying that it was hard to feel the tension of archers who are under immense pressure to score 10 and the sports body wants the audience to witness the vivid tension.

How will the heart rate monitor work?
Collaborating with the Japanese electronic giant Panasonic, the World Archery set up the cameras all across the arena. The installed cameras are equipped with the technology to pick up the skin colour of the athletes, position change in their pupils, and collect the same data in real time. The monitor after analysing all the parameters determines the heart rate of the archers.

Dielen explained that the heart rates will be calculated with the set of cameras installed at the venue by analysing even the most delicate changes or contractions in the blood vessels of the archers. Dielen clarified that the heart rate will only be broadcasted on television and not displayed at the venue as that can disturb the concentration of the archers.

How has the heart rate monitor fared so far on archers?
Deepika Kumari from India had her nerves under complete control during her match against Bhutan’s Karma as her heart rate clocked 75 beats per minute only, as per the monitor. However, the situation was quite dramatic in her match against USA’s Mucino-Fernandes as her heart beat at 100 beats per minute during the first set and occasionally shot up to as high as 175 beats per minute at one point during the game when both archers were on the verge of making their deciding aim. Soon after her match got over, Deepika told reporters in Tokyo that it was very natural for her to get nervous in an event like the Olympics.

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