Dola Banerjee won the gold medal in the grand final of the archery world cup in Dubai on Saturday. The event, where the world's top four archers participate for honours, saw the Indian triumph over her Korean opponent, Choi Eun Young, by a slender margin of just one point. Dola won the match 110-109.
VK Malhotra, the president of the Archery Association of India (AAI), said, "This is the first time such a thing has happened in Indian archery. It shows that we have a strong chance of winning a medal at the Olympics."
In the semifinal, Dola had beated Russian Natalya Erdyniyeva 108-106.
In a nail-biting final, the Indian was trailing in the first three rounds, but came back to win the final round by two points and take the title by a point.
After this achievement, Dola sits on top of the world as the event is the culmination of the four world cup editions that are held during a year. Dola had won one of the editions, at Dover, earlier this year.
Though last year Jayanta Talukdar had also won one of the editions at Porec (in Croatia) doing a first for India, but he couldn't win the grand final, which Dola did.
Incidentally, archery is being termed as one of the few sports where India have a chance of winning an Olympic medal. Said Randhir Singh, the secretary general of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), "We consider archery, shooting and hockey (once we qualify) as sports
where we have the best chances of winning Olympic medals. This win reiterates our faith. We had already put Dola in the list of top sportspersons, who will benefit in many ways, like contracts with multinationals etc."
It has been learnt that she, along with other top sportspersons in IOA's list, will soon be contracted by a multinational company.