"Main target is to make it to the Olympics and win a gold there" - Dhiraj Bommadevara riding high on confidence after maiden Archery World Cup victory

Indian men
Indian men's archery recurve team won a gold medal at the Paris Olympics 2024 (Image Credits: Dhiraj Bommadevara/ Instagram)

Indian archer Dhiraj Bommadevara, alongside veteran Tarundeep Rai and Pravin Ramesh Jadhav, left everyone in awe of their performance at the recently concluded World Cup Stage 1 in Shanghai.

The trioka beat Olympic champions, South Korea, in the final to win the gold medal in the Men’s Recurve event after 14 years.

The Indian Men’s recurve team put in a brilliant display against South Korea, registering a 5-1 (57-57, 57-55, 55-53) win. Dhiraj Bommadevara, 22, who won his first gold medal at the World Cup, shared his feelings after beating South Korea, in an interview with Sportstar.

“It has to be a special moment, being my first World Cup gold, and more so since we beat the Olympic champions South Korea in the final,” Dheeraj said.

The thought of taking on a strong team like South Korea in a World Cup final adds a lot of pressure. However, the Indian archer explained that their focus was never on the opposition but rather on working on themselves. He also mentioned that the bigger goal remains achieving a gold medal at the Paris Olympics.

“Since we are all from the Services, the understanding, coordination and the way we kept our communication channels really helped us a lot. Honestly, every time we entered the competition, we just didn’t bother about the opposition, took quick decisions, our focus was on what best we could do and we are glad to pull off such a memorable performance,” the Vijayawada-based archer said.
“The emphasis was not on the end result but on the process and how best we can keep improving. For, the main target is to make it to the Olympics and win a gold there,” Dhiraj added.

“We have the right kind of exposure to make it” - Dhiraj Bommadevara hopeful of securing Olympic quota

For the unversed, Dhiraj Bommadevara is the only Indian archer, who has managed to secure a quota for Paris Olympics 2024. He secured qualification after bagging the silver medal at the Asian Qualification Tournament in Bangkok in November, last year.

The Indian Men’s recurve team exhibited a sensational performance at the World Cup Stage 1. However, they are yet to secure a team quota for the Paris Games.

The upcoming World Cup in Antalya, Turkey, is the final qualifying event for the Paris Olympics 2024. And, Dhiraj is confident that they are equipped with the right training programs to be able to secure a team quota.

“We have the right kind of exposure to make it, perfect training at the Sonepat National Camp where we have nothing to complain about. It will be a challenge no doubt but we are ready to face any,” he said.

It is to be noted that even if the Indian men’s team can’t secure qualification for the Paris Olympics 2024, they still have a chance to make it through, based on their superior rankings. The top two ranked teams will get a direct entry for the games and India are, currently, only behind South Korea.

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