India’s ace woman archer, Vennam Jyothi Surekha, says she is now targetting the Asian Games gold later this year to ensure her medals haul is well and truly complete in all major championships across the world.
Fresh from her historic team gold in the compound category partnering Aditi Swami and Parneet Kaur and an individual bronze in the Berlin World Championship last week, the 27-year-old Surekha said that Asiad gold would be one medal she was desperately looking forward to winning.
“Obviously, the World Championship gold is a huge morale-booster. We challenged the windy conditions, after rains too, adding up to our woes, successfully to put up our best ever performance in Berlin,” she said in a chat with Sportstar.
“We made it to the Worlds finals so many times. But somehow missed the gold. So, winning that coveted medal is a truly special feeling,” Surekha said.
For someone who had won three silver (team, individual and mixed events) in the 2021 edition, Surekha having won a silver and a bronze earlier in the Asiad, the gold is for sure the next biggest target for her.
“Yes, it is never going to be easy in the Asiad as there are some world-class archers from countries like Chinese Taipei, and Korea. Like in any international competition, we have to be on our toes to repeat what we have done in the Worlds,” she said.
“Significantly, the young Indian archers are doing so well that there is an invisible fight amongst ourselves to scale the summits,” said Surekha, who won eight medals in Worlds so far.
“Look at the wonderful performance of someone like the 17-year-old Aditi Swami who started competing in the seniors’ grade this year and came up with such stunning performances. It is so good for Indian archery itself to see such talent around,” she said.
“I don’t think I will be making any changes in my technique given the back-to-back events lined up for me. Right now, we are training in Paris for the World Cup (Group IV Stage). The focus will be on consistency as always,” Surekha said.
“Competing in the Olympics is the biggest dream for me, like for any athlete. We hope it will be included in the 2028 edition with me being there too,” she said with a big smile.
“Honestly, I thank everyone around me for motivating me so much. They keep telling me that I can achieve more at the highest level. I am grateful to the Government of India, the Sports Authority of India, the national federation and all the support staff for letting me keep going. I have no complaints,” she said.
“Before the Asian Games, I have the World Cup finals in Mexico where I want to do well. So, I just can’t think of staying away from this sport,” said the Vijayawada-based archer, who is now the Deputy Collector in the Government of Andhra Pradesh.
On Dream Foundation support, Surekha said it was great on its part to support compound archers who otherwise were not getting that kind of backing.
“I feel it has helped up improve a lot given the kind of
comfort provided and focussing more on the sport,” she said even while thanking her parents for their all-out support to her over the years.
“I want to keep giving off my best and continue this Word Championship form,” she signed off.
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