Punya Prabha and Ranjeet Das come out on top

AFTER 16 years, the National sub-junior archery championship returned to Bangalore, and the long gap certainly saw a big leap in terms of participation as well as quality of the contests. Archery, at least in the sub-junior ranks, had remained a preserve of States like Uttar Pradesh, Orissa and Manipur. The meet at Bangalore, saw emergence of a new power, Jharkhand and its archers put up a dazzling display in the Federation International Target Archery (FITA) round, which allows the use of imported bows. The events were conducted in both Indian round, with wooden bows (20 and 20 metres distance) and FITA round (40m, 50m and 60m).

The champions — Punya Prabha display their medals. — Pics. G. P. SAMPATH KUMAR-

The stars of the meet were undoubtedly, the 14-year-old Punya Prabha of Uttar Pradesh, who won both the individual titles in FITA and Indian rounds and Ranjeet Das of Jharkhand, who was unstoppable in FITA round.

Punya Prabha, one of the outstanding wards of Gurukul Archery Academy, began her gold quest on a right note, winning the 20 metre event with 337 points, warding off stiff challenge from her Manipuri rivals, Rajpyari Devi and Surmila Devi. She scored an encore in the 30 metres, logging 325 points for the top spot and thus claimed the overall individual title as well. In the boys Indian round section, Lakshman Rao of AP and Paresh Kumar Soren of Orissa split the honours, winning the 30m and 20m events. Punya Prabha stretched her winning streak in the FITA round as well. She won the 30m event with 334 points and 40m with 307 points. Her sweep was foiled by Runu Swasrgiya of Jharkand in the 60m, while another Jharkand girl, Mahamaya topped in the 50m. Nevertheless, Punya Prabha emerged as the overall individual champion in the FITA round with 1219 points. "I am pleased with the victory here and I wish to represent the country and win a medal in international meets," said Punya Prabha. Her performance also paved way for UP's triumph as the team champion in the girls' section.

Ranjeet Das, the lanky young lad from Jharkand, hogged the limelight in the boys section in the FITA round. Das, who trains in Tata Archery Academy in Jamshedpur, put up a splendid show, winning the 30m, 40m, and 50m contests and his bid for total sweep was stalled by his team-mate, Bishabandia in the 60m, where Das had settled for a silver. Das also claimed the overall individual title with 1278 points.

The FITA round proved to be an all Jharkand affair, as it swept the board, taking all the top three spots in the four categories (30m, 40m, 50m and 60m).

Jharkand, thus emerged as team champion in the boys section of the FITA round and signalled its arrival on the Indian archery stage in a big way.

On the organisational front, the Karnataka Archery Association was right on target and ensured right conditions for an enjoyable meet for the youngsters.

Ranjeet Das. — Pics. G. P. SAMPATH KUMAR-

Indian round: Boys: 20m: 1. Paresh Kumar Soren (Ori — 321pts); 2. Nikon Kshetri (Mpr — 329); 3. Vasanth Rao (AP — 328). 30m: 1. M. Lakshman Rao (AP — 330); 2. Jyoti Kant (UP — 323); 3. Paresh Kumar Soren (321). Overall champion: Paresh Kumar Soren (654). Team champion: Uttar Pradesh (1923).


Girls: 20m: 1. Punya Prabha (UP — 337); 2. Rajpyari Devi (Mpr — 320); 3. Jyoti (UP — 318). 30m: 1. Punya Prabha (325); 2. Rajpyari Devi (318); 3. Surmila Devi (Mpr — 318). Individual champion: Punya Prabha (662). Team champion: Manipur (1851).

FITA round: Boys: 30m: 1. Ranjeet Das (Jhar — 344); 2. Ramdin Puja (Jhar — 338); 3. Prabhat Kandir (Jhar — 329). 40m: 1. Ranjeet Das (325); 2. Birshabandia (Jhar — 315); 3. Ramdin Puja (307). 50m: 1. Ranjeet Das (296); 2. Birshabandia (290); 3. Prabhat Kandir (288). 60m: 1. Birshabandia (317); 2. Ranjeet Das (313); 3. Ramdin Puja (287). Overall champion: Ranjeet Das (1278). Team champion: Jharkand (3726).

Girls: 30m: 1. Punya Prabha (334); 2. Runu Swargiya (Jhar — 325); 3. Shwetha (UP — 321). 40m: 1.Punya Prabha (307); 2. Runu Swargiya (303); 3. Shwetha (295). 50m: 1. Mahamya Midyura Chariya (Jhar — 288); 2. Punya Prabha (Jhar — 279); 3. Runu Swargiya (271). 60m: 1. Runu Swargiya (301); 2. Punya Prabha (299); 3. Mahamaya (296). Overall champion: Punya Prabha (1219). Team champion: Jharkand (3545).

Khalyan N. Ashok