The Telegraph
Wednesday , July 16 , 2014
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Grand (Prix) target for our Eklavya girl

- 19-year-old recurve archer from SAIL’s Kiriburu cradle in India squad for Asia meet in Taiwan

Scoring the bullseye and slotting home medals come easy for Snehal Diwakar, the talented cadet of SAIL’s Eklavya Archery Academy in Kiriburu, West Singhbhum.

The 19-year-old recurve archer will now head for Chinese Taipei (the name used by Taiwan when participating in international events) to represent India at the 2nd Asian Grand Prix, scheduled from August 10 to 15.

Snehal, who hails from Goa, made an immediate impression soon after she joined the Kiriburu cradle in September 2013. She began her journey to the national stage by claiming three medals — two gold and one silver — for Jharkhand at the 36th junior meet held in Kokrajhar, Assam, in November the same year. The teenager, however, drew a blank at the senior nationals staged in Jamshedpur in 2013.

But talented as she is, the young archer made amends by slotting home two gold and as many silver medals at the National Ranking Archery Tournament (NRAT) held in New Delhi and Hyderabad this year.

Currently, Snehal is sweating it out at the ongoing national preparatory camp for the Asian meet at Sonipat in Haryana.

“Her medal-winning feat at national ranking tourney earned her a slot in the Indian team for the Asian Grand Prix. Snehal is a very good archer who has the added advantage of being calm and composed. I expect her to perform to her potential in Taiwan,” Eklavya archery cradle’s mentor Rajender Guiyan told The Telegraph over phone from Kiriburu.

Guiyan admitted that Snehal proved her authority soon after she joined the cradle last year. “She scored the target consistently during practice sessions. She has a good stance and works hard. I am highly impressed with her prowess,” he added.

Speaking over phone from Sonipat, Snehal said she was happy to have made it to the Indian squad for the first time. “It is a dream come true. I think my hard work has yielded positive results. Hard work always pays,” the teen archer, also an intermediate arts student at Noamundi College, added.

Set up in 2008, the SAIL cradle has been churning out talented archers for the country ever since.

Cadet Hurdub Tiriya, a tribal who made it to the academy with great difficulty, represented the country in the Junior World Cup held in Poland in 2009 while Sumita Kumari donned the India jersey in the 2nd Asian Grand Prix held in Mongolia in 2013.

N. Lavanya and Gurucharan Singh too represented the country in the Junior World Archery Championship held in China last year.

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