Archery World Cup: All eyes on Deepika, Atanu

Deepika Kumari has finished runner-up in four World Cups. This time around, the Olympian wants to taste gold.

"There’s a gap between silver and gold and that’s what I’m figuring out now," says Deepika Kumari, ahead of the Archery World Cup.   -  PTI

The first leg of the four-stop Archery World Cup is set to commence in Shanghai on Wednesday, with Deepika Kumari leading the Indian contingent.

The 22-year-old archer has finished runner-up in four World Cups. This time around, the Olympian wants to taste gold.

“There’s a gap between silver and gold and that’s what I’m figuring out now. I need to identify and understand everything I need to win and not just remain with the silver. I want to win and become a world champion. I really want to,” said Deepika to WorldArchery.org

Deepika equalled the world record of 686 points from a possible 720 at the same circuit last year. She went on to finish sixth in the following Olympics at Rio.

“After Rio I worked on my physical fitness, improving technical aspects of my archery and doing physiological training as well,” said Deepika. 

In the men’s recurve event, Atanu Das leads the Indian challenge. Das will be hoping to put away the disappointment of his quarterfinal exit at the Rio Olympics. Of the 306 archers participating in the tour, 23 are Olympic medallists. The Rio gold medallists of the men’s and women’s division — Ku-Ban Chan and Chang Hye-Jin of South Korea — will also be in Shanghai.

The Shanghai phase of the World Cup runs until 21 May. At the end of the fourth leg, only the top-seven archers in each division, plus one Italian host-nation representative, will qualify for the World Cup final in Rome in September.

INDIAN SQUAD

Men’s recurve team: Atanu Das, Dhaniram Basumatary, Indrachand Swami and Viswash.

Women’s recurve team: Deepika Kumari, Preeti, Ankita Bhakat and Monika Saren.

Men’s compound team: Abishek Verma, Amanjeet Singh, Chinna Raju Srither and Gurwinder Singh.

Women’s compound team: Parveena, Jyothi Surekha Vennam, Snehal Mandhare and Divya Dhayal.