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Archers miss national title by a (gold) whisker
- State bags highest tally of 21 medals, but finishes third in junior championship

Jharkhand would have clinched the junior national archery title, but for gold crunch.

The state bagged 21 medals at the championship, which concluded in Kokrajhar, Assam, on Wednesday, and finished third pipping the host. Its medal tray included only four gold, besides seven silver and 10 bronze.

Services Sports Control Board (SSCB) topped the meet with five gold, one silver and six bronze, while Punjab became first runner-up with five gold, a silver and four bronze.

Despite winning more number of medals than the Services and Punjab, Jharkhand missed the tittle by just one gold medal.

“The archers shot well in the four-day tournament. It was a satisfactory performance. We would have won the title, had we managed to bag a couple more gold medals,” said Jharkhand Archery Association (JAA) working secretary L. Murty.

The state outfit returned to Jamshedpur via Calcutta on Friday morning.

Jharkhand eves Rajni Patro (Seraikela-Kharsawan) and Madhumita Kumari, Ajanti Kumari and Durgawati Kumari (all from Silli) won the recurve team gold.

The boys — Sudhakar Paswan (East Singhbhum), Sahensah Biruly (Seraikela-Kharsawan), Sourav Dutta (SAIL Academy) and Anuj Kumar Gupta (SAI-Ranchi) — slotted home only silver in the event.

Ranchi archer Asha Rani Horo added one more silver to the team’s kitty by finishing second in the girls’ individual recurve. East Singhbhum’s Sudhakar Paswan and Kiriburu-based N. Lavanya picked individual silver in the compound and recurve divisions, respectively.

In the Indian round, state archers managed bronze medals in both boys’ and girls’ sections. The boys’ outfit comprised Dilip Mahto (Silli), Manish Choudhari (Dhanbad), Shiv Kumar Kumbhkar (Seraikela-Kharsawan) and Mahendra Karmali (Bokaro).

On the other hand, Indrani Kujur (Lohardaga), Sombari Roy (Seraikela-Kharsawan), Bharti Mahto (Silli) and Soni Kumari (Dhanbad) represented the eves.

Lavanya teamed up with Tata Archery Academy’s Vinod Swansi to bag the mixed recurve bronze.

Earlier, the young archers had performed well during the selection trials held at JRD Tata Sports Complex. Nearly 300 archers from different districts had turned up for the trials, but only 24 made the cut.

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