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Friday, Nov 22, 2019

Pune’s archery prodigy, Divya Dhayal brings home two medals from Manila Asia Cup

The 16-year-old won silver in the team compound event and bronze in the individual compound event.

pune Updated: Apr 11, 2018 23:13 IST
Ananya Barua
Ananya Barua
Hindustan Times, Pune
Divya won her first international medal at the age of 15, winning two gold medals at Asia Cup 2017 at Chinese Taipei.
Divya won her first international medal at the age of 15, winning two gold medals at Asia Cup 2017 at Chinese Taipei. (HT PHOTO)

Sixteen-year-old City-based archer, Divya Dhayal of Army Public School (APS), Kirkee has once again made India proud by winning silver in the team event and bronze in the individual event at the Manila 2018 Asia Cup, stage two world ranking round in the women’s compound bow category.

At the competition, held in Manila, Philippines, she bagged the individual bronze medal by defeating Lin Ming Ching of Chinese Taipei, on Monday. Divya and Lin were tied on 138 points and the game was decided by a shoot-off where Divya hit the decisive bull’s-eye to clinch the game.

This is not the first international feat for the teenager who has been making prominent strides in the sport. Divya had won her first major competition at the age of 15, at the 2017 Asia Cup and then bronze at the 2017 Archery World Cup. At the National Archery Championship 2017, she had secured  gold medals in two separate categories and in last year’s Asia cup, held in Taipei, China, she won a gold medal in the mixed team event  and silver in the women’s team event.

Divya along with Mrinal Anil Hiwrale and Muskan Kirar, represented India in the compound bow women’s team event. They secured a place in the final after defeating Philippines’ Andrea Robles, Jennifer Chan and Amaya Amparo Cojuangco in the semi-finals with a score of 229-219 in the Indian side’s favour. The finals saw the Indian team face-off against Chinese Taipei’s Chen Yi-Hsuan, Huang I-Jou and Lin Ming-Ching on Wednesday. The Chinese team narrowly edged past India with a score of 225-221.

“It has been an intense journey and I am enjoying every bit of it,” said Divya.

Talking about the recent win, she added, “After every competition that I play, I realise that I still have a lot to learn and I am looking forward to use these lessons and perform well in the upcoming world cup.”

Hailing from a family of archers, Divya, and her two siblings, Digvijay (16) and Khushbu (17), are also compound archers and believe that age, in archery, is just a number. 

“It is what we learn during such competitions and the hard work we put in, that counts at the end of the day,” added Divya. Her elder sister, Khushbu, had won a bronze medal at the Rosario 2017 World Archery Youth Championships, Argentina in October. According to her, Archery is a mind game which motivates its players to stay positive even when arrows don’t always hit the mark. “It teaches you to live in the present, not complain about the past or the previous shot, but look forward and concentrate on the next shot,” said Khushboo.

Her twin brother, Digvijay is no stranger to international achievements as well. The 16-year-old won gold at the 2016 Asia Cup, world ranking tournament

The Dhayal kids are guided by their father, Lieutenant Colonel Vikram Dhayal, who is also a national archer and a coach.

Divya shares that the medals are an outcome of the hard work and discipline inculcated in their daily routine by their father. “Our practice schedule begins with morning exercise leading up to 12 hours of practice a week,” she said.

She along with her siblings, are hoping to set their target on the Olympics in 2024. “We hope that by then compound archery will be included in the Olympics and we are doing our best to be prepared,” said Divya.