Besides scoring the bullseye, archer Deepika Kumari is also an ace when it comes to winning laurels.
Jharkhand’s Golden Girl is all set to bag the Sportsperson of the Year award — bestowed annually on Founder’s Day in Jamshedpur — for the third time in a row.
Unfortunately, the archer won’t be able to receive the award personally because she would be busy answering her ISC papers. “Deepika is in Ranchi for her exams. She has opted out of the Grand Prix in Bangkok later this month, for the same reason,” said Tata academy coach Purnima Mahto.
The coveted honour, which includes a trophy and cash prize, can be seen as an advance present for Deepika’s 19th birthday on June 14.
The top-bracket recurve archer pocketed five medals — three gold and two silver — at international competitions in 2012. She slotted home both the individual and team gold in World Cup (1 and II) and also topped individually in the Grand Prix. The silver medals were won in World Cup final and Grand Prix.
Though Deepika won fewer medals last year than her usual tally, none from the Tata sports stable matches her feat. In 2011, she had bagged 12 international medals — two gold, six silver and four bronze.
Tata Steel sports department head Captain Amitabh confirmed that the 18-year-old was their unanimous choice. “Her performance in 2012 is hard to beat,” he said.
He added that the selection panel focussed on her consistent performance at national and international level.