Olympics ki Aasha: How Deepika Kumari is living her archery dream

Deepika Kumari
Deepika Kumari

Deepika Kumari has established herself as one of the best female archers India has ever produced. Her success on the international stage over the years has led Deepika to become India's star archer.

She hails from the state of Jharkhand, where the sport of archery was little known to the locals until Deepika Kumari rose to prominence courtesy of her impeccable success. She is often credited, alongside Atanu Das and Tarundeep Rai, for making archery one of the more popular sports in India

At the 2021 Archery World Cup Stage 3 in Paris, France, Deepika Kumari displayed impressive performances and won three back-to-back gold medals. The 27-year-old will head to the Tokyo Olympics 2020 as one of India's medal hopefuls.

Archery is one of the medal prospects for India at the quadrennial event in Japan, which is slated to take place later this month.

Read: Archers Atanu Das and Deepika Kumari request Gautam Gambhir to save archery ground 15 days before Tokyo Olympics 2020

Deepika Kumari's fascinating story of using bamboo sticks to becoming India's archery girl

Deepika Kumari comes from a humble family background, where her father, Shivnarayan Mahato, was an auto driver and her mother, Geeta Mahato, is a nurse at Ranchi Medical Hospital.

Deepika began to take up an interest in archery at a young age and decided to pursue a career in it. Due to poor financial conditions at home, her father couldn't afford to buy her a bow and arrow to practice. Young Deepika Kumari made bows and arrows out of bamboo sticks to practice archery.

Deepika Kumari's hard work paid off when she made her international debut for India at the 2006 World Archery Cup, where she won a gold medal in the recurve women's junior compound. Three years later, in 2009, then 15-year-old won two gold medals at the Cadet Archery Championships.

Read: Deepika Kumari: From poverty and hunger to gold medals and fame

At the 2010 Commonwealth Games, Deepika Kumari won two more gold medals. The following year, Deepika won two silver medals in her Archery World Cup debut at two different venues. Deepika has a total of nine gold medals under her belt from the Archery World Cups held between 2012 and 2021.

Deepika Kumari has two silver medals from the Archery World Championships in 2011 and 2015. She qualified for the Summer Games twice at the 2012 London Olympics and 2016 Rio Olympics.

The Government of India conferred Deepika with Arjuna Award and Padma Shri for her extraordinary contribution towards the sport of archery. She is grateful to the government for their support.

She said:

"Government does everything for us. They also set up a camp and take care of everything needed. If the government hadn't been supportive, then I wouldn't have been playing outside the country"

Read: Tokyo Olympics: The sport in which India is likely to win its first-ever Olympic Medal - Archery

Deepika Kumari is a medal hopeful at the Tokyo Olympics 2020

Courtesy of her recent success at the Archery World Cup Stage 3 in Paris, France, where she won a hat-trick of gold medals, Deepika Kumari is tipped to be one of India's top medal prospects for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. She will also enter the quadrennial event in Japan as the World No.1 in women's archery.

Deepika Kumari's Tokyo Olympics appearance will be her third consecutive Summer Games. After missing out on winning a medal in the two previous editions of the Olympics in London and Rio, the 27-year-old is leaving no stone unturned in her preparation to bring home a medal from the Tokyo Olympics.

Deepika Kumari's Tokyo Olympics campaign will begin on 23rd July 2021.

Read: Atanu Das, Deepika Kumari lead charge to break India's Archery-jinx at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics

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Read: All you need to know about the history of Archery in the Olympics

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Edited by Diptanil Roy
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