Indian pair win junior recurve world title

8 October 2017
Rosario (ARG)
Jemson Ningthoujam and Ankita Bhakat took the mixed team gold medal in Rosario.

India picked up its first world title at the youth championships since Deepika Kumari’s victories in 2009 and 2011 when Jemson Singh Ningthoujam and Ankita Bhakat won gold in the mixed team event in Rosario, Argentina.

The pair, seeded just ninth in the tournament, beat Russia in the final.

“I was initially feeling a little shaky but I shot very well and we won the gold,” said Bhakat. “Now I’m happy.”

"Our coach tried to encourage us both; he was shouting ‘we have to win’, ‘we have to win’, ‘we have to win’,” added Ningthoujam.

“The hard work has paid off and now we‘ll hear our national anthem.”

India had upset top-seeded Korea in the quarterfinals to spring the run at gold.

Ningthoujam left Rosario with a second medal, a silver, from the recurve junior men’s team event. He, Shukmani Gajanan Babrekar and Atul Verma couldn’t upset a heavily-favoured Korean squad in the final.

The mixed team gold is India’s fourth World Archery Champion title across all disciplines.

Deepika Kumari won the recurve cadet title in 2009 and recurve junior crown in 2011; Palton Hansda, in 2006, was the first Indian archer to be crowned world champion, when she took gold in the compound junior women’s event.

India also took a bronze medal in the compound cadet women’s event in Rosario.

The 2017 World Archery Youth Championships run 2 to 10 October in Rosario, Argentina.