Jyothi insists on competing in "as many events as possible" with Asian Games gold in mind

The 25-year-old Jyothi Surekha insisted that it was important to get going in 2022 and that there was no better way than to compete in the compound category.

Jyothi Surekha at the National ranking tournament at Gachibowli Stadium in Hyderabad on Saturday.   -  V. aV. SUBRAHMANYAM

Jyothi Surekha Vennam was moving around at the competition venue of the NTPC National ranking archery championship at the Gachibowli Stadium here on Sunday like any other first-timer, showing unbridled enthusiasm and the intense desire to keep improving.

The 25-year-old Surekha insisted that it was important to get going in 2022 and that there was no better way than to compete in the compound category.

“This is my first competition after close to two months. I came straight from my hometown Vijayawada to get the feel of being out there in the middle,” the champion archer informed ‘The Hindu’ on Saturday.

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“With the specific objective of winning an Asian Games gold, I feel it is imperative for me to compete in as many events as possible even as the pandemic threat looms large,” said the archer who had won a team bronze and a silver in the Asiads earlier.

“For us, the first major is the World Cup Stage I in Turkey this April followed by Korea, Paris and Columbia , then we have the World Games in the USA in July followed by the Asian Games,” she said about the hectic schedule ahead.

“I am pretty impressed with a lot of young talent here in this championship and I am sure many of them will go to places given the kind of exposure and training they are assured,” Surekha said.

For someone who won seven World Cup medals (three silver and four bronze and all in 2018), six World championship medals (four silver and two bronze), she felt she had the ability and skills to keep going.

“I will continue to compete as long as I enjoy it. I just can’t think of being away from archery for too long,” said the BPCL Executive with a big smile.

What keeps you going despite being in the international circuit for exactly 10 years? “The intense desire to win medals for the country is the biggest motivation. Like for many athletes, there is no better joy than to bring laurels to the country,” Surekha said.

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Significantly, unlike many athletes, this gifted archer doesn’t have any complaints - even at missing the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award (formerly known as Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award) for which she was a strong contender for the last couple of years.

“I have no regrets on any front. I take things as they come, really happy with what I am able to achieve so far and at the same time keen to keep improving,” Surekha added.

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