Atanu Das, Deepika Kumari to Lead Six-Archer Indian Recurve Team at Tokyo Olympics
The Indian archery squad pose for a group picture after the selection trial at the AIS in Pune on Monday (Pic: Instagram, Atanu Das).
Experienced archers Atanu Das and Tarundeeep Rai will lead the challenge in the men’s section while Deepika Kumari will be the star in the women's Indian recurve squad at the Tokyo Olympics this year.
The final selection trials (Trial 3) to pick the six-member squad was conducted at the Army Institute of Sports in Pune. Das, Rai and Pravin Jadhav made the cut for the men’s team which has already won a quota spot for the Games after winning silver at the 2019 Archery World Championships in the Netherlands.
Ankita Bhakat and Komolika Bari complete the women's squad alongside Deepika, who has already won an individual quota spot at the Asian Championships in 2019. The women's recurve team, however, is yet to win an Olympic quota and will get a shot at it in the Final Team Qualification event in Paris from June 18-21.
"The selection for the Olympic team on a points system took into consideration the scores of Trial 2 that took place in November 2020, the scores of this trial and whether the archer had won an Olympic quota," a release issued by the Sports Authority of India stated.
"By winning this quota, they were eligible for single athlete quotas in the men's individual recurve event as well," the release added.
Jadhav topped the trial which was held on Monday and finished first in the overall category, securing his first-ever chance to compete at the Olympics. Das came second ahead of Rai, who would be competing in his third Games in Tokyo.
"I am very happy with the way the trial went and I am now confirmed for the Olympics. I have gone through a long process between the 2016 Olympics to now and have realised that the mental aspect of the game is very important. I am looking forward to performing at my best in both the individual and team events in Tokyo," Das who would be taking part in his second Games said.
In the women’s trials, Deepika came on top with Ankita and Komolika Bari completing the overall podium. The trio will represent India in Paris to try and earn the quota and the right to represent India in Tokyo.
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