Asian Games 2018: Medal contenders for India in Archery
When the Asian Games kick off in Jakarta & Palembang this year, India will be pinning their hopes on the compound archers to bring glory for the country. Unlike recurve, which is an Olympic sport and enjoys formidable following, the compound archery team are the favourites to collect a bagful of medals.
Sergio Pagni, the star archer from Italy has been conducting training camps for the compound team and is quite chuffed about India’s prospects.
I’m really proud of this group, they are all world class. I am sure that they will come out with flying colours from the Games,” Pagni, a two-time World Championship gold medallist, had said during the build-up for the Games.
In Abhishek Verma, India have the biggest medal hope. He won Gold at the 2014 Asian Games at Incheon in the men’s compound archery team event along with Rajat Chauhan and Sandeep Kumar. He then clinched the silver medal in the men’s individual compound event.
Verma has been a consistent performer, as he won gold in the compound men’s individual section at the Archery World Cup Stage 3 in Wroclaw, Poland.
Also, on 25 October 2015, he bagged the silver medal in the compound men’s individual section at the Archery World Cup Final in Mexico City.
Teaming up with Chinna Raju Srither and Amanjeet Singh, Verma brought home gold at the World Cup stage one championship in Shanghai, after defeating Colombia 226-221.
Along with Verma, Jyothi Surekha is another archer who has been in scintillating form in the recent past. The duo have been irresistible right through the year by bagging bronze medals in all the four World Cups this year. Mixed double events will be making a maiden appearance at the Games this year.
The women’s compound archery team, which is ranked number 1 in the word, consists of Jyoti, Trisha Deb, Muskan Kirar and Madhumita Kumari. They were the runners-up in the last World Cup in Berlin. The team clinched Bronze in the Incheon Asian Games, but will face stiff competition from South Korea and Chinese Taipei. However, they are definite favourites for a podium finish.
In the Recurve event, Atanu Das and Deepika Kumari will make all the headlines. Atanu teamed up with Deepika at the Archery World Cup in Shanghai where they edged out South Korea in a tense finish to clinch the Bronze medal. The duo finished third to win the bronze medal in the mixed category. However, despite a strong performance, he finished fourth in the individual category.
Das was the only male archer in the men’s singles category who had managed to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Deepika Kumari will once again be the flag bearer for India in the women’s event. The 24-year old from Ranchi is a former number one in the sport and is perhaps the most consistent athlete in the category.
The prodigy gave first sign of her pedigree back in 2009 when at the age of 15, she won the 11th Youth World ArcheryChampionship held in Ogden, United States and then clinched Gold in the women’s team recurve event.
She has been in good form in the recent past as she struck Gold in women’s recurve event at the World Cup (Stage III) after a gap of six years beating Germany’s Michelle Kroppen 7-3 to qualify for the circuit Final.
“There is plenty at stake in the upcoming Asian Games, as the Indian team returned empty-handed at the last edition in Incheon,” Deepika said after her victory. A definite medal contender for India.