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Deepika, Jayanta in national archery finals

- Golden girl to don Steel Plant Sports Board jersey in Delhi tourney tomorrow

Golden girl Deepika Kumari, Laxmi Rani Majhi and Jayanta Talukdar will test their skills for the finals of National Ranking Archery Tournament to be held in Delhi on Sunday.

After a stellar show in the senior national archery championship last month, 19-year-old recurve archer Deepika left for Delhi with Jayanta Talukdar on Friday morning.

Both the recurve archers are representing the Steel Plant Sports Board.

Mentor and Dronacharya awardee Purnima Mahto is accompanying Deepika to the national capital.

Recurve archer Laxmi Rani Majhi, who is already in Delhi, is representing Jharkhand.

The summit clash is being hosted by Archery Association of India in collaboration with Delhi Archery Association.

As many as 32 top-seed men and women archers will compete separately in the recurve and compound divisions during the daylong tourney.

They (16 archers in recurve and as many in compound) qualified for the finals on the basis of their performances in the four stages of the tournament held last year in Hyderabad (February 22-24), Jamshedpur (April-4-6), Delhi (June 22-24) and Aurangabad (September 5-7).

However, no compound archer from Jharkhand has made it to the finals.

Deepika, who will sport the Steel Plant Sports Board jersey on Sunday, will be up against top women archers from across the country, including Laishram Bombayla Devi, Rimil Biruily, Dola Banerjee and Chekrowulo Swuro.

But the cool-as-cucumber Golden Girl of Jharkhand is unfazed by the impressive line-up. “Any competition is a test. I am confident and I am shooting well,” Deepika, who is also a manager with the Tata Steel sports department, said.

If the player is confident, so is her mentor.

“Deepika is in good form and I am positive about a solid show from her. She is competing against country’s top archers but that’s not new!,” said Purnima.

Jayanta, who has recovered from his shoulder injury, will also compete against top-notch archers like Atanu Das, Rahul Banerjee, Tarundeep Rai and Mangal Singh Champia.