India’s top archers showed exemplary commitment to participate in the National Archery Championship in New Delhi. The National Archery Championships took place very soon after the Asian Games but all the top Indian archers took part and put in impressive performances. Asiad gold medallist, Abhishek Verma continued his stellar run to win two gold medals in compound archery. Star archer Deepika Kumari snatched three gold medals in the Recurve events.
70m+70m Event – Gold for Deepika Kumari
Former World No. 1 Deepika Kumari, represented Jharkand and went on to clinch the gold in the 70m+70m ranking round. With a total score of 648, Deepika Kumari was 6 points ahead of second-placed Laxmi Rani Majhi, who took the silver. Rimil Buruily (640) took home the bronze. Both Laxmi Rani and Rimil represented the Railways.
Mangal Singh Champia who won team bronze medals at the Asian Games in 2006 and 2010, scored 672 to pick up the gold in 70m+70m ranking round. 19-year-old rising talent Sanjay Boro, hailing from Assam surprised everyone with a strong finish that saw him score 664 to clinch the silver medal. He was tied with his more fancied rivals – Jayanta Talukdar and Ranjit Naik at the same score. But the youngster edged past the others by dint of having more tens (33) compared to Jharkhand’s Talukdar who had 27.
Jharkhand archers proved their prowess with an absolutely dominant display in the team events that saw the state claim the team gold medals in Men’s, Women’s and Mixed Team category. The experienced duo of Deepika Kumari and Jayanta Talukdar led their respective teams to thumping victories over the opposition.
The team of Deepika Kumari and Jayanta Talukdar were the hot favourites. The duo they lived up to their reputations to blank Manipur 6-0 in the final. The bronze went to the Assam team.
Jayanta Talukdar was in smashing form as he led the men’s team to the gold medal as well. Talukdar teamed up with Binod Swansi, Bulbul Marandi and Indrachand Swami to beat Uttar Pradesh 6-2 in the summit clash. Railways claimed the bronze medal.
Deepika Kumari continued her superb run in the team events and added the women’s team gold as well. With Reena Kumari, Padyawati and Sitarni Todu in tow, Deepika claimed the team gold for Jharkhand on a memorable day for the state. They thrashed the Railways team 5-1. Punjab picked up the bronze in this category.
Men’s Olympic Round
It was a massive upset in the men’s individual category as 22-year-old Vakil Raj Dindor from Rajasthan upstaged all his illustrious rivals to take the gold in a shootoff. The unheralded Rajasthan lad was tied 5-5 with Atanu Das of PSPB in the final. In the shootoff both again posted the same score – 8. But Vakil was declared the winner as his arrow was closer to the centre. Tarundeep Rai (SSCB) who won an individual silver at the Guangzhou Asian Games, clinched the bronze.
Earlier, Jayanta Talukdar who shone in the team events, went down in the first round. Experienced archer Rahul Banerjee also ended up losing in the second round.
Women’s Olympic Round
Experienced archer Laishram Bombayala of Railways annexed her second individual crown in a shoot-off win over Rimil Buruily of the Railways. Bombayala and Rimil were tied at 5-5 and the former scored a narrow 10-9 victory in the shoot-off. Assam’s Satbir Kaur took home the bronze.
Deepika Kumari could not produce the sterling form that took her to multiple team gold and slumped to a loss in the pre-quarter-finals. Former India No. 1, Dola Banerjee also went out in the same round.
Asian Games gold medallist Abhishek Verma of Delhi added another feather to his cap by claiming a new national record along with the gold medal. He scored 709 in a gold-winning effort in the 50m compound ranking round. Khyam Chhetri (SSCB) clinched the silver with Sandeep Kumar (SSCB) getting the bronze medal.
Asian Games bronze medallist Trisha Deb of Punjab continued with her recent surge of confidence to grab the yellow metal with a score of 687. The silver and bronze went to Lily Chanu Paonam (Manipur) and Manjudha Soy (RSPB) respectively.
Manipur surprised Rajasthan 232-228 to take the team gold. Telengana, took the bronze medal.
Bihar emerged as the winners by putting up a dominant display in the final. They thumped Manipur 227-219. Jharkhand clinched the bronze.
Men’s Olympic Round
A day after taking the 50m ranking round gold, Abhishek Verma produced yet another impressive performance to pick up the yellow metal in the Olympic ranking round, thrashing Kawalpreet Singh of Punjab 148-139 in the final. Abhishek Verma’s Asiad teammate Rajat Chauhan of Rajasthan went on to win the bronze medal beating statemate Ravi Sharma 146-145.
Women’s Olympic Round
18-year-old rising talent Vennam Jyoti Surekha (PSPB) beat 16-year-old Purvasha Shende (Andhra Pradesh) 141-132 in the final. Both Surekha and Shende were part of the Indian women’s compound archery bronze medal winning team at the Asian Games this year. The bronze went to Jhanso Hansda of Jharkhand who narrowly edged past Priyanshu Kacchap of Bihar 138-137.
Compound Mixed Team
The compound mixed team gold was captured by Rajasthan led by Asian gold medallist, Rajat Chauhan who partnered 18-year-old Swati Dudhwal. They beat the Delhi team of Abhishek Verma and Sushma 154-153. The bronze medal went to Lily Chanu and Ratankumar Singh of Manipur.
In this event, wooden/bamboo bows and arrows are used. The Archery Association of India (AAI) introduced the Indian Round in 1993 to popularize the sport further in the country.
Results of Indian Round:
Gold: M. Sunder Singh (Assam Rifles); Silver: H. Bijendranath Singh (Assam Rifles); Bronze: Arun Boro.
Gold: S. Nirmala Devi (Manipur); Silver: Kamini Boro (Assam); Bronze: Baljeet Kaur(Punjab).
Gold: Santosh Thapa Magar (SSCB); Silver: H. Bijendranath Singh(Assam Rifles); Bronze: Bishnu Ran Nath(SSB).
Gold: Sukhpreet Kaur (Punjab); Silver: Ekta Shirke (Maharashtra); Bronze: Jai Laxmi Laguri (Jharkhand).
Gold: Th. Captain Singh (SSCB); Silver: Abhishek Kumar Singh (Uttar Pradesh); Bronze: Arjun Kumar (Jammu & Kashmir).
Gold: Ekta Shirke (Maharashtra); Silver: Maneesha M.B. (Kerala); Bronze: Baljeet Kaur.
Gold: Assam Rifles; Silver: CRPF; Bronze: Punjab.
Gold: Assam; Silver: Punjab; Bronze: Maharashtra.
Gold: Sukhpreet Kaur/Mohit Kumr (Punjab); Silver: M.B. Maneesha/M.Rajeev (Kerala); Bronze: Bharat Yadav/Kelmith (Chattisgarh).
The Indian archers gave a good account of themselves in the National Archery Meet. Also the event provided a good platform for youngsters like Vakil Raj Dindor to display their temperament.