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Champia's solo glory; Deepika, Laxmi & Rimil in team win

By Jayesh Thaker
  • Published 1.08.15
Mangal Singh Champia of Jharkhand has secured a berth for Rio de Janeiro Olympics 2016

It looks like Denmark is setting Jharkhand's date with Rio.

At Archery World Championship in Copenhagen, Jharkhand's Mangal Singh Champia secured an individual berth for Rio de Janeiro Olympics 2016. Deepika Kumari, Rimil Biruily and Laxmi Rani Majhi, all former cadets of Tata Archery Academy, have secured team berths, which will be evaluated again by India next year before the girls get to go to Rio.

Champia, a 31-year-old tribal archer from Jhinkpani near Chaibasa in West Singhbhum, set his Rio date when he entered men's recurve quarterfinals, defeating Spaniard Antonio Fernandez 6-2 in Copenhagen on Thursday.

It will be Champia's second time when he dons the India jersey in Olympics. Earlier, Champia, who works with Indian Railways in Calcutta, had gone to Beijing Olympics in 2008.

The highly experienced archer claimed team bronze in 2006 Doha Asian Games. A popular face in Jamshedpur's archery fraternity, whenever Champia visits Jhinkpani, he makes it a point to come to the steel city and practice at JRD Tata Sports Complex archery grounds.

"It's great that Champia made it to Olympics. It gives me immense pleasure to see Jharkhand has produced some quality archers and the precision sport is going in the right direction in the state," Charles Borromeo, secretary of state archery association, said.

Deepika, Rimil and Laxmi also displayed steely nerves in Copenhagen, defeating seventh seed Germany 5-3 on Tuesday to make it to the quarterfinals, the yardstick for the Olympic cut.

Barring Deepika, who played in 2012 London Olympics, for Rimil and Biruily, Rio will be their Olympic debut.

But, by making the team and not individual cut, Deepika, Laxmi and Rimil will be evaluated again by India, depending on their form.

While Deepika is a Tata Steel sports department officer, Rimil and Laxmi work with Indian Railways in Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh.

Borromeo, who heads Tata Steel sports department too, said he hoped the three TFA maidens make it to Rio. "We should be positive that they stay in good form when Indian Olympics team is selected next year. We'd love to see the trio shooting in tandem at Rio."

Former Tata cradle's technical director V.V.S.N. Rao spoke on the same lines over phone from Delhi. "Not to belittle their achievements in Copenhagen, I hope they maintain their current form till time the national side for Olympics is selected. But I am very hopeful about their Olympic chances," he said.

Praying Rimil and Laxmi make their Olympian debuts next year are their doting mums Nimita and Padmini.

" Mujhe yakin hain meri Rimil Olympics mein zaroor bhaag legi (I'm certain Rimil will take part in Olympics)," Nimita told The Telegraph. Laxmi's mother Padmini added: " Kuch mahino se Laxmi ka pradarshan lagatar achha raha hai. Mujhe puri umeed hai ki woh Olympics mein zaroor bhaag legi. (Laxmi's performance has been consistently good for some months. I hope she plays in the Olympics)."

Will Deepika finally make it to Rio? Tell