Bullseye: Deepika Kumari
At 19, Deepika Kumari has proved what steady hand-eye coordination and a new draw technique is capable of.
In the last lap of the World Cup at Wroclaw, Poland, Indian women’s recurve team of Deepika, Laishram Bombayala Devi and Rimil Burily sprung a nail-biting surprise on the Koreans 219-215 to bag gold.
Sunday marked the stage IV of the World Cup, giving Deepika the chance — winning five medals already in this edition — to whiz straight into the World Cup individual tie in Paris as one of the seven finalists.
“I had a disappointing run in individual rounds but made amends in the team event,” the Golden Girl told The Telegraph from Wroclaw over phone, modesty and candour intact.
Then came the new confident Deepika everyone — from her parents Shiv Narayan and Geeta Devi to her coach Dharmender Tiwary — is gushing about.
“I am very happy and confident of claiming a medal in Paris. The gold in Poland has made me very confident,” Deepika said.
Now, she needs to do a Dola Banerjee.
Banerjee is the only Indian woman to have won a gold in the World Cup final. She achieved the feat in 2007.
Deepika is no debutante. She has qualified for the finals for second year in a row. In her maiden appearance in Tokyo last year, she had returned with a silver.
Tiwary said the Poland win had come right on time for Deepika. “Deepika is peaking at the right time. She’s holding her nerves well. And her new draw technique is suiting her,” he said.
Deepika 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 Devi and Biruly, won the recurve team gold by defeating China at Medellin last month before winning a bronze in the mixed team clash.
But the Wroclaw fixture was important for the Golden Girl to make it to Paris.
Based on rankings after four stages of the World Cup, top seven archers in men’s and women’s sections made the cut, while the hosts (France) get a quota berth.
Right now, the top-bracket archer is aiming for Paris. But before that, there’s a warm-up at the 4th National Ranking Archery Tournament, which is scheduled at Aurangabad from September 4 to 7. The event is also a selection trial for the World Championship and Asian Meet.
Asked on the other fixtures, she said she was “positive about myself” for World Championships (Antalya in September) and Asian Championship (Chinese Taipei in October-end).