A file shot of Deepika Kumari at JRD Tata Sports Complex
Golden girl Deepika Kumari will look forward to do an encore when she lines up with a host of top archers at the first stage of National Ranking Archery Tournament 2014 in New Delhi from February 12 to 15.
The 20-year-old ace recurve archer had bagged the gold in the tournament’s previous edition’s final, also held in Delhi but in January this year.
The 16 archers in recurve and as many in compound had qualified for the final on the basis of their performance in the four stages of the tournament held in Hyderabad (February 22-24), Jamshedpur (April-4-6), Delhi (June 22-24) and Aurangabad (September 5-7) in 2013.
Similarly, the first stage of this year’s tournament is being held in Delhi and is being considered as a crucial meet.
For, the Delhi event will form the yardstick for selection of Indian men and women archers for Asian Grand Prix, which is scheduled in Bangkok from March 10 to 15.
Deepika said she was looking forward to the Delhi meet and confident of a good show.
“I have been working hard as international competitions are slated after the tournament in Delhi. I am also looking to gear up for 35th National Games in Kerala,” she said.
Mentor Purnima Mahto said her ward was in excellent form and was very optimistic about a solid show from her, pointing at her stellar performance at a senior national meet in Jamshedpur in December where Deepika slotted home six gold medals.
“Deepika is a consistent performer and highly experienced too,” Purnima added.
Besides the golden girl, a host of archers from Jharkhand will compete in senior, junior and sub-junior recurve and compound divisions during the Delhi event.
While Jayanta Talukdar and Gurucharan Singh will don state jerseys in the senior men recurve section, Sitarani Tudu, Padyavati Sardar, Reena Kumari and Asha Rani Horo will compete in women’s category.
Binod Swansi and Hurdub Tiriya will play in the junior recurve division whereas Horo and Snehal will represent the eves. Bir Singh Purty, Kamal Kishore Mahata, Akhil Choudhary, Puja Kumari, Sulekha Singh and Manisha Hembrom comprise the sub-junior boys’ and girls’ squads in the recurve division.
In the compound division, Sudhakar Paswan, Jhano Hansda and Rajni Patro will play for the senior side, while Shahenshah Biruily, Rajni Patro, Madhumita Kumari and Durgwati Kumari will represent the junior outfit.
Shahenshah Biruily, Anuj Kumar, Suraj Kumar Nand, Ajanthi Kumari and Madhumita Kumari are the sub-junior archers in the compound division.