stepping into sibling shoes: Vidya speaks to Deepika, who was calling from London during the Olympics, while her parents look on
Her sister had trained there and it was a matter of time before she did the same too. Well, that time has come now, almost.
Barring a formal medical test, decks have been cleared for Vidya, the sister of top recurve archer Deepika Kumari, to enter the famed portals of Tata Archery Academy (TAA).
The 16-year-old impressed the coaches with her posture and shooting skills during an induction trial held recently at JRD Tata Sports Complex. Vidya, who lives with her parents Shivnarayan Mahto and Geeta at Ratu Chatti village near Ranchi, was among a clutch of archers shortlisted for induction.
“Vidya needs to go through mandatory medical tests. She has been shortlisted for induction. The medical tests will be conducted soon,” said Captain Amitabh, head of Tata Steel’s sports department.
He added that Vidya was a budding archer who needed grooming under better and experienced coaches. “I’m sure she has the potential to become an excellent archer,” the senior sports functionary said.
Vidya is not a rookie when it comes to holding the recurve bow. She has already been training at SAI’s archery unit in Ranchi.
“Like Deepika (a TAA alumnus), Vidya is also keen to make a career out of archery. Deepika’s performances has inspired her,” her mother Geeta, a nurse, said.
Tata archery cradle coach Purnima Mahto said though she had not seen much of Vidya, the teenager could be groomed into a better archer.
“Well, I’ve not seen much of Vidya, but I believe that she can be coached into a good archer. I’m sure that she will become a much better archer during her four-year stay at the academy,” Purnima, Deepika’s mentor and also coach of the Indian women’s archery team at the London Olympics said.
According to a TAA coach who watched Vidya in action during the induction trial, the young archer appeared very confident and shot well.
“She did not seem nervous at all. Her posture while holding the bow was good just like her shooting. Archers with such qualities tend to make gradual improvement. I’m sure Vidya will begin shooting like Deepika in the months to come,” he added.