Komalika Bari wins world youth archery championships

Bari’s abilities to introspect and learn from her mistakes have made her the third Indian archer to claim a world title.

Seventeen-year-old Komalika Bari’s abilities to introspect and learn from her mistakes have made her not only a leading archer of the country, but also the third Indian to claim a world title.

For someone who trained with the Indian bows (read bamboo bows) for four years before switching to recurve at the Tata Archery Academy (TAA) in 2016, Komalika’s rise has been steady and fast.

Hailing from a modest family in Jharkhand, Komalika followed in her cousin brother’s footsteps to take up archery at the ISWP Sports Complex, Jamshedpur, before honing her skills under TAA coaches Dharmendra Tiwari and Purnima Mahato.

Komalika, who was 15th after the ranking round, got a bye and beat five opponents — including two Koreans and a Japanese (Waka Sonada, in the final) — to win the title in the world youth archery championships in Madrid on Sunday.

Deepika Kumari won it in 2009 and the world junior crown in 2011. Palton Hansda was the compound world junior men’s champion in 2006.

READ | Sukhbeer stars as India bags a bronze in World Archery Youth Championships

Valuable lessons

Komalika took heart from her performance ahead of the Olympics qualifiers. “I have gained a lot of confidence after coming to elite level and it has helped me,” Komalika told Sportstar from Madrid. “After coming to the TAA, I focused on my shooting. I learnt a lot working alongside the elite archers. I got to know how to maintain calmness, patience and how to handle different situations…Here, inputs from coaches Surinder Singh and Anil Kumar were useful.”

The teenager, who made her international debut at the South Asian championship earlier this year, made her mark to be drafted into the Indian side for elite events including World Cups in Turkey and Germany, the World championships in the Netherlands and the Olympic test event in Tokyo.

Komalika was thankful to her parents. “My family put me into archery. My parents support me wholeheartedly.”

Purnima said, “Komalika had good power. Her shooting improved after joining TAA. Her self-analysis is superb and she is not afraid of hard work.”

According to Purnima, who is a Dronacharya award winner, Komalika should go step-by-step to realise her potential at the top level.