'It was important we booked Oly berths'

'It was important we booked Oly berths'

'It was important we booked Oly berths'

Securing a berth at the Rio Olympics, the Indian women’s recurve archery team of Deepika Kumari, Laxmirani Majhi and Rimil Buriuly exuded confidence that they will build on from their silver medal performance last week at World Archery Championship held at Copenhagen, Denmark.

The championship witnessed India’s best ever performance. With two silver medals, India was combined third with the Netherlands and hosts Denmark in the medals tally. South Korea topped the table (9 medals) and Chinese Taipei (3 medals) stood second. Also, Mangal Singh Champia’s quarterfinal finish in the men’s recurve event secured an individual quota for the Rio games. The Archery Association of India felicitated the archers here on Tuesday.

“It was important that we booked our berth for the Olympics. The first duel against Germany was crucial where we didn’t start well, but managed to make a comeback and from there on we were a confident side,” said ace archer Deepika Kumari.

The final against Russia where the team squandered the lead and then lost in the tie-break 28-27 was disappointing, but there were many positives from the championship, believed Deepika.

“Mastering the wind conditions, playing in front of a sizeable audience and keeping your concentration levels high are some of the aspects that we need to work on. Personally, I need to work on my fitness levels,” said 21-year-old.

“I have gained a lot in experience. During the 2012 Olympics I could not enjoy and settle as I lost in the first round match. Hopefully, we will put up a good performance in Rio,” added Deepika.

“Our aim was to qualify for the Olympics. After our win over Colombia in the quarterfinal, we felt relieved and then focused for a podium finish,” said Majhi.

Coach Harwinder Tiwari pointed towards the lack of bench strength that the team has and urged the federation and SAI to groom players at a younger age, churning out players of international quality.

“The Koreans perform brilliant under high pressure finals. A single lapse of say even an 8 pointer can be hard to make up against them, where they score a string of tens,” said Tiwari.

The championship also marked a historic first for India in individual events where Rajat Chauhan shot to silver in the men’s compound category.

“After winning the team gold medal at the 2014 Asian Championship, my target was to win an individual medal at World Championship. That I achieved last week,” said Chauhan.

Describing the final against Stephen Hansen, Chauhan felt that playing in front of a raucous partisan crowd proved to be the difference.

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