Olympians Das, Kumari take Indian national titles

The Indian national senior championships attracted 469 archers from across the country.

Rio 2016 Olympians Atanu Das and Deepika Kumari won the recurve titles at India’s 37th senior national championships in Faridabad, India, which concluded on 30 March. Das, who finished ninth at the Games, only scored 605 out of a possible 720 points during a windy qualification round – seeding 27th of the 141 recurve men in the competition – but then upset the brackets with strong matchplay performances.

He eventually beat Jemson Singh of Arunachal Pradesh, 6-2, in the final.

“I recently changed my technique and was confused when I started to shoot. The wind was also against us and I ended up with a low ranking,” said Atanu, who had been in Korea training with coach Kim Hyung Tak.

“I’m always hungry to win international matches and, after my loss at the Rio Olympics, that hunger has grown more and more – so I am working hard to treat every day as an Olympic event.”

Deepika Kumari seeded first overall in the recurve women’s competition with 634 points and went on to beat the second-ranked archer, Ankita Bhakat, in the final, 6-2. She said that she had “shot in worse conditions” when asked about the wind.

“I always want to beat the target I’ve set for myself and I never think of my opponents. I set my own targets and I want to overcome them,” Kumari added, before saying that her focus was still firmly on adding world championship and Olympic trophies to her cabinet.

Chinna Raju Srither, who was a team silver medallist with India at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010, won the compound men’s gold after a shoot-off with Punjab’s Amanjeet Singh. Tied at 139 points each, Amanjeet put in a 10 and Srither a strong arrow in the X10-ring in the tiebreaker. Assam’s Chinglensana finished third. During the eliminations, underdog Adithyaa Ramesh from Tamilnadu, who recently finished second at the junior national championships, upset Hyundai Archery World Cup medallist Abhishek Verma in a shoot-off. Ramesh did not make the podium – but is one to watch.

Another junior archer dominated the compound women’s competition.

Fifteen-year-old Divya Dhayal, who finished fourth at the Asia Cup stage in Bangkok immediately prior to the nationals, topped qualification with 672 points. She later clinched the gold medal with a convincing win, 144-140, over Snehal Mandhare of Maharashtra. Jayalakshmi Sarikonda took bronze.

The Archery Association of India’s 37th Senior Archery Indoor National Championships took place on 26-30 March 2017 in Faridabad, Haryana, India.

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