The Telegraph
Thursday , February 21 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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How GeNext archery stars are born
- 14 medals already in quiver in state’s best show yet at junior national championship

It may be the Deepika Kumari rub-off effect. Or the individual genius of budding archers who have hit bullseye at the ongoing 35th Junior National Archery Championship, Hyderabad, with Jharkhand bagging its highest medal tally.

The state, which sent a 24-member squad to the tourney, has so far bagged 14 medals in the Indian round and compound division. More than 400 archers from over 25 states and sports units are vying for top honours at the nationals at the Gachibowli sports complex in the Andhra Pradesh capital.

Eight medals — two gold, three silver and three bronze — have come from the Indian round. Six medals, two each in gold, silver and bronze, have come from the compound division.

“It is so far the best show by our archers in the junior nationals,” said Jharkhand Archery Association (JAA) working secretary L. Murty.

Last year, Jharkhand managed just 8 medals in Indian round and compound division.

A few more medals were expected in the recurve section, which started on Wednesday, the penultimate day of the meet. But then Murty threw in the zinger. “We have always cut a sorry figure in the recurve section. So we don’t expect a good show,” Murty said about state archers whose best-known ace Deepika is a global recurve champ.

Jharkhand had drawn a blank in recurve at the last junior national meet.

But Murty was upbeat about this year’s performance, with good reason.

“The training centres in JAA-affiliated districts, including Silli and Bokaro, have helped young archers. Jamshedpur and Seraikela-Kharsawan boasts adequate training apparatus that is honing a new generation of archers. Silli is also producing fine archers. We are encouraging other districts to set up training hubs with logistical support from the state outfit,” he added.

Soni Kumari, a girl from Silli, bagged individual gold and two bronze medals in the Indian round. Lohardaga’s Indrani Kujur claimed individual silver and bronze.

Again, in the Indian round, the girls’ team won gold in the Indian round while the boys had to be content with silver. In mixed doubles, the duo of Mukesh Turi and Soni Kumari won silver.

In the compound section, Silli’s Durgawati Kumari won gold in the individual (Olympic round) while her district mate Madhumita Kumari picked up two silvers.

The compound girls’ team won gold. The boys settled for team bronze. The mixed team of Madhumita Kumari and Sudhakar Paswan took bronze.

Will the next Deepika or Jayanta emerge soon? Tell