Star Indian women’s recurve archer Deepika Kumari has rued the lack of competition at the Archery World Cup after South Korea withdrew from the event, which starts in Guatemala City on Tuesday. She is also expecting a much-improved show in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics compared to her previous two outings.
The eight-member Indian men’s and women’s archery team are currently in Guatemala City for the World Cup Stage 1. Stages 2 and 3 are scheduled in Shanghai (May 17-23) and Paris (June 22-27).
Atanu Das, Tarundeep Rai, Pravin Jadhav and Dhiraj Bommadevara constitute the men’s team while the women’s team includes Deepika, Ankita Bhakat, Komalika Bari and Madhu Vedwan.
South Koreans would have added more competition: Deepika Kumari
One of the dominant countries in the sport, South Korea has fetched as many as 39 Olympic medals including 23 gold. Deepika Kumari feels the Asian country’s absence will lessen the level of competition in the event.
“Had they participated, there would have been a little more competition, but it doesn't matter for me. It’s their decision. I want to play,” Deepika Kumari was quoted as saying to the World Archery website.
While Atanu, Tarundeep and Pravin are the Indian men to have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, Deepika is the sole Indian woman till now to have booked her ticket to the Tokyo Games. With less than 100 days remaining for the Games, Deepika is feeling better.
“The (Tokyo) Olympics will be different for me. I’m learning how to control my thoughts. At the same time, I'm performing better,” said Deepika Kumari, whose previous two Olympic appearances were in 2012 and 2016.
The former World No.1, Deepika Kumari, has achieved it all. In her illustrious career, starting with her Commonwealth Games gold at 15 years to now, Deepika has been in Indian archery’s forefront with one after another impeccable performance.
“Archery is all about your mind and thoughts. We have to know how to handle pressure, how to control the brain; my mind control, my thought control. That’s the key in archery and sports,” Deepika Kumari added.
The 26-year-old, who has been on the World Cup podium five times in seven appearances and is the owner of countless international medals, stated she still has a lot to give to the sport and a lot to learn.
“You continue practising, practising, practising. But competitions give you pressure. You need to know how to handle pressure,” Deepika Kumari signed off.