Sikkim archer set for 2021 Tokyo Olympics
Sikkim’s celebrated archer Tarundeep Rai has again done the state proud by qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics, 2021, along with Atanu Das and Pravin Jadhav as part of the three-member Indian men’s recurve archery team.
The trio was selected after the final trials conducted at the Army Institute of Sports in Pune, Maharashtra on Monday. Announcing the team, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) said in a release: “The selection for the Olympic team on a points system took into consideration the scores of Trial 2 that took place in November 2020, the scores of this trial and whether the archer had won an Olympic quota.”
Tarundeep finished third overall in the trials behind Atanu and Pravin. This will be the 37-year-old archer’s third appearance in the Olympics, having earlier represented India at Athens in 2004 and London in 2012. “Tigers and tigresses unleashed. Ready steady Tokyo, Best wishes to all and this time we go for the gold,” wrote Tarundeep in a Facebook post.
By mentioning tigresses, Traundeep was alluding to the selection of the Indian women’s archery team for the Olympics comprising two-time Olympian Deepika Kumari, Ankita Bhakat and Komolika Bari. Unlike the men’s team, the women’s recurve team is yet to win an Olympic quota. They will get that opportunity at the final team qualification event scheduled to take place in Paris from June 18-21.
Tarundeep, who hails from Namchi in South Sikkim, is a recipient of Padma Shree and Arjuna Award for his exploits with the bow and arrow. He had in the past hinted that this would be his last Olympics, and expressed the wish to end with a podium finish. “I want to play my last Olymjpics like I played my first back in 2004,” he had said.
The selection of the veteran bowman in the Indian Olympics team has been widely hailed in the Himalayan state.
“I extend my heartiest congratulations to all the selected archers representing India in the Tokyo Olympics. Tarundeep has brought laurels not just to the state but to the whole nation. So here is wishing him and the team all the best. Go Team India! Bring home the gold,” exhorted Jacob Khaling, the political secretary to chief minister P. S. Tamang (Golay).