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Rio Olympics 2016: Six-time Olympian predicts Deepika Kumari will win India's first archery gold

Deepika Kumari is one of our brightest medal prospects this time
Modified 05 Aug 2016, 09:16 IST

While Deepika Kumari failed to stand upto the 'pressure of expectations' and surrendered to an unfancied local British archer in the opening elimination tie at the Lords Cricket Stadium four years back, expectations are pretty much on the higher side this time around.

Former World Number One and 6-time Olympian Natalia Valeeva has predicted that Deepika Kumari will bring home India's first medal in archery at Rio de Janerio after 16 Olympiads.

A native of Moldova, Natalia believes 22-year-old Deepika is young and will be more focused rather than being relaxed as she appeared to be in London.  On top of that, the experience she garnered at the 2012 Games will be a statistical and real advantage.

Also Read: Archery: Rating the Indian athletes' chances of winning a medal

While Natalia won the individual and team bronze medals at the 1992 Olympic Games, India’s best performance till date so far has been in 2004 and 2008 when the women’s team reached the quarter-finals in the team event.

Deepika who wore the tag of World Number 1 last time, is now ranked 12 but mentally conditioned for this huge occasion. The women's recurve team currently ranked third in the world after South Korea and Russia will be led by the archer from Jharkhand along with Laxmi Rani Majhi and Bombalya Devi.

Whether she can win a medal, only time will tell. 

The women's team ranking round would take place today, while the eliminations are scheduled for August 7. The team final is slated to be held early on August 8. The individual women's final is fixed for the early hours of August 12.

Published 05 Aug 2016, 08:58 IST
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