The Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, Kiren Rijiju on Wednesday felicitated the Indian archery contingent for their superlative performance at the World Archery Championships held in Hertogenbosh, Netherlands last week, which has earned India an Olympic berth.
Meeting the archers at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) headquarters, Rijiju congratulated them for winning an Olympic quota for Tokyo 2020 and bagging three medals in the championship.
India won one silver and two bronze medals at the event, making it India’s best-ever medal haul in an Archery World Championship. India had won two silver medals in the same event in 2015, which is the country’s second-best performance at the championship.
The Indian men’s recurve team comprising Atanu Das, Tarundeep Rai and Pravin Jadhav won a silver medal. Das made his international debut in 2008 and his current world ranking is 22. Rai, who started his career as an archer in 2003 at the age of 19, was also a part of the last Indian men’s recurve team that won a silver medal in the World Archery Championship in 2015. Jadhav started his career in athletics and took up professional archery a year into his training in athletics, and has excelled in it.
With this year’s silver, the men’s team earned a quota for next year’s Tokyo Olympics, which also assured the Indian men three full athlete quotas for the individual recurve event at the Olympics.
In the women’s category, Jyothi Surekha Vennam won India’s first individual medal in women’s compound archery as she clinched a bronze medal following a shoot-off win over Turkey’s Yesim Bostan. This was also Vennam’s second world championship team medal, as she was a part of the Indian team that won silver at the 2017 World Championships. Vennam had won five mixed team medals at World Cup events in 2018 including the World Cup final.
Speaking about the achievement of the young archers, Rijiju said: “Our men’s and women’s archery teams have just come back from the World Championships and I am very happy that the men’s team has already won an Olympic quota, and even the women archers are very confident. India has traditionally been very strong in archery and if we can win an Olympic gold in the sport then we will be able to prove that.”
“The government is going to extend all assistance to these players, and also to those who have performed well in other sports and have the potential to win an Olympic medal. We will provide whatever support the athletes ask for, be it in coaching or technical facilities,” he assured.
Besides extending all training support, SAI is also making arrangements for a mental trainer for the team to help them improve their focus and skills, in preparation for the Olympics.