AIMING FOR GLORY: Deepika Kumari at a practice session at JRD Tata Sports Complex
Deepika Kumari is off to Poland with an eye on Paris.
A 16-member Indian squad (men and women), including the golden girl, left for Wroclaw from New Delhi on Friday to take part in the final leg of the world archery championship scheduled from August 19 to 25.
The 19-year-old archer from Ratu Chatti village, 15km from the state capital, has an important task at Stage IV of the meet in Poland — booking a ticket for the final in Paris on September 21 and 22.
Thanks to her performances in the first three stages of the championship, Deepika, a Tata Steel employee, is the only Indian recurve archer who stands to qualify for the final.
She drew a blank at Stage I in Turkey, but bagged two silvers in the next edition held in Shanghai. In Stage III, she, along with Laishram Bombayla Devi and Rimil Biruly, bagged the recurve team gold by defeating China at Medellin last month before winning a bronze in the mixed team clash.
Four medals in three editions of the championship have stood Deepika in good stead. A medal this time will cement her place in the final.
“I have worked hard and I am very positive about my show in Poland. I have adjusted to my draw style, which is helping me shoot quite accurately,” Deepika told The Telegraph over phone from New Delhi.
Father Shiv Narayan Mahto is optimistic that Deepika would not disappoint. “Bhagwan se prarthana karte hain ki beti medal jitey. (I pray to the almighty that my daughter wins a medal,” Mahto added.
Mentors Dharmendra Tiwary and Purnima Mahto also sounded confident. “Deepika has regained her form. I am optimistic that she will maintain it,” Tiwary added.
Tata Steel’s Jayanta Talukdar is the other archer from Jamshedpur to compete in the world championship.