Indian men's and women's recurve archery teams are keen on making giant strides in Paris when they compete in the third stage of the Archery World Cup and the Tokyo Olympics qualifiers.
The women’s recurve team will start their campaign with the Olympic qualification event from June 17. The team, comprising former World No. 1 Deepika Kumari, Ankita Bhakat and Komalika Bari, will aim to finish in the top-three to seal their berth at the Tokyo Olympics. This is the last qualification event ahead of the Games.
The Indian men had earlier qualified for the Tokyo Olympics with a good performance in the 2019 World Championships. India also clinched an individual spot through Deepika Kumari at the Continental Qualifiers in Bangkok a couple of years ago.
Atanu Das shines in practice sessions in Paris
After reaching Paris, the archers were subjected to a round of coronavirus testing, following which they served a quarantine period in a bio-bubble set up at the Sports Center in Vichy.
On completion of quarantine, the Indian archery teams hit the ground straight away. Atanu Das was in fine form, repeatedly hitting the bull’s eye in practice. In a picture, posted on social media, Atanu Das scored 10s and as many nines 9s during a successful practice session.
Indian archery teams in good form
Indian archers won three gold medals in the first stage of the World Cup in Guatemala City while they were forced to skip the second stage due to the pandemic.
India’s participation in the third stage also looked doubtful due to the travel restrictions imposed by the European authorities. However, timely intervention from the authorities concerned helped India make the journey.
While Indian women will be gunning to do well at the Olympic qualification event, the World Cup could be a real-time practice ground for India’s top archers ahead of Tokyo. Going into the Tokyo Olympics with a medal under their belt would be a major boost.