Surekha — beating the best

The Vijayawada girl combined with Swati Dudhwal and Priyanshu Kachhap to clinch the team compound bow gold in the International University Sports Federation (FISU) World archery championship after the Indian trio trumped Russia 228-220 in the final.

Vennam Jyothi Surekha in action.

Vennam Jyothi Surekha’s career graph registered another upward leap in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia recently. The Vijayawada girl combined with Swati Dudhwal and Priyanshu Kachhap to clinch the team compound bow gold in the International University Sports Federation (FISU) World archery championship after the Indian trio trumped Russia 228-220 in the final.

In the last four stage, India beat USA 228-225 and pipped Great Britain 219-218 in the round of eight.

Beating the best is not new to the 19-year-old, who struck gold for herself and silver for the team in the Asian archery championship in Bangkok, last November. Not afraid to punch above her weight she finished ninth in the senior World Archery Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark last July.

“Being a national level swimmer before picking up the bow had helped her cause. Swimming is considered the mother of all exercises. It has helped Surekha develop a strong body and an effective breathing technique,” archery legend Limba Ram had observed.

The individual gold was hers at the Asia Cup Stage-II championship held in Bangkok in March, 2015 as she chipped in for a team silver as well. A year before, Surekha was a member of the gold winning team in the first Asian Archery Grand Prix at the Thai capital. The team bronze was hers at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games as also during the Junior Archery Word Championship in Wuxi, China in October, 2013.

Surekha firmly turned the spotlight on herself when just 13, winning five medals during the Mexican Grand Prix in Tijuana, Mexico. “She knows how to get the maximum effect out of each release,” noted compound coach Jiwanjot Singh, while complimenting her abilities in gauging the wind rightly, so central to the sport which thrives outdoors. Some of that skill may have been picked up while training on the banks of river Krishna in her native town.

Although she has an impressive array of achievements, which fetched 24 national and a slew of international medals, she is yet to receive any material encouragement from the Andhra Pradesh government.

“Though Chief Minister Chandra Babu Naidu announced incentives for her almost two years ago in the form of cash awards and housing plot, in line with the State’s sports policy, Surekha has not received anything so far,” rued her father Vennam Surendra.

The final year B. Tech Computer Science student of K. L. Engineering College, with all her travel for sports, thumps her books just a month before the exams, but scored over 75 per cent in her last sitting.

Support Sportstar


Dear Reader,

Support our journalism — where text and pictures intermingle so seamlessly — and help us scale up your experience as the world changes around us. Your contribution is vital to our brand of uninfluenced, boots-on-the-ground reportage that’s worth your while. Clickbait sensationalism is not for us, but editorial independence is — we owe it to you.