Kumari: I need to understand what it takes to win
Still only 22 years old, four-time Hyundai Archery World Cup Final runner-up Deepika Kumari stands out as India’s most successful female archer. Her haul of achievements include two junior world titles and gold at the Commonwealth Games, which she won in Delhi when she was 16.
“There’s a gap between silver and gold and that’s what I’m figuring out now. I need to identify and understand everything I need to win and not just remain with the silver. I want to win and become a world champion. I really want to,” said Deepika.
It’s been nearly a year since she climbed the podium last, in the mixed team event in Antalya in 2016, and since then – with Indian expectations high – she finished ninth individually and sixth with the recurve women’s team at her second Olympics.
“After Rio I worked on my physical fitness, improving technical aspects of my archery and doing physiological training as well,” said Deepika. “At the moment, I’m not worried about scoring, my main focus is to develop my confidence, my technique and see what else I can continue learning.”
In Shanghai in 2016, Kumari tied the world record for the recurve women’s ranking round. She remains a consistent threat in world-class competition – and said that her resolve is stronger than ever.
“World Cup stages are the way for me to improve before a big win at the worlds,” she added.
Having taken second place so many times, it’s victory that Deepika yearns for: “I know competition will be high throughout the season and it still too early to predict, but I’ll take it because I’m committed and honest with the process I’m going through right now.”
The first stage of the 2017 Hyundai Archery World Cup runs 16 to 21 May in Shanghai, China.