A gold medal last year at the All India University Games and a silver at the Khelo India University Games on Wednesday validate the efforts and calibre of recurve archer Prathana Solanki.

In the women's recurve individual event, Solanki, representing Panjab University, lost the final narrowly, going down to Priyanka Thakran in a one-arrow tie-breaker.

“I played well in the final, too, matching my opponent in each of the sets. I took it till the tie-breaker shot which didn’t go my way,” the 21-year-old said, reflecting on her performance.

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Prathana wished to join the Indian army, but her family wasn't enthusiastic about the potential career-choice. She took to archery, instead, and promptly shone through in her chosen field.

'Want to make India proud'

“I could not serve the country by joining the army. But now I want to make India proud by taking part in the Olympics and eventually winning a medal,” Prathana said.

Prathana thanked her parents for providing her the support and encouragement. “My father is a farmer and my mother is a homemaker. They have provided me all the equipment that I needed, whatever it took [my father]. He has given me everything to move forward in my sport, pumping in all his hard-earned money. My parents have never let me face any difficulty and have always supported me in whatever I do,” she said.

Commenting on her future plans, Prathana said: “Now, my focus is on winning a medal at the senior nationals this year. And then look beyond, at the Olympics.”