Crown Juel hits bull’s eye in Iraq tournament
Young Juel Sarkar has lived up to his name.
Juel, 16, from a village in Malda has hit bull’s eye in an archery competition in Iraq. The Indian Recurve Team has won Stage II of the Asian Archery Championship, bagging 14 medals — eight Gold, four Silver and two Bronze. The tournament was held in Iraq from May 5 to 12.
Juel, who appeared for the Madhyamik this year, is the son of a marginal farmer. He lives with his family at Pandua under Gazole block of Malda district.
Srimanta Chowdhury, an archer who had trained Juel earlier, expressed delight.
“I coached him for three years and noticed his talent then only. But as it was beyond my financial capability to provide him modern coaching, I told him to join the Bengal archery academy in Jhargram,” Chowdhury said.
Juel joined the academy and aced many competitions at the school, sub-junior and senior levels. He was picked for the national team on the strength of sparkling performance at the selection camp in Jharkhand.
In April, he went to Delhi to attend another coaching camp and then headed for the championship in Iraq earlier this month.
In the team event, India defeated Bangladesh 5-1 point to become the champion. Juel’s parents, Nisham and Niyati Sarkar, are overjoyed and are eagerly waiting to for their son’s return.
“We want him to win more medals and glory for the nation. He is from a poor family and has had to struggle a lot. It is his tenacity that has helped him achieve this,” said the proud father, who tills a two-bigha plot.
On Friday, Juel’s neighbours and people from villages nearby flocked to his home and congratulated his parents. Sweets and greetings were exchanged as the villagers celebrated the boy’s success.
Nisham and Niyati have spoken to Juel over a video call and congratulated him.
“My happiness knows no bounds. It is indeed a different feeling to play for the nation and win gold in an international competition,” the 16-year-old told his parents during the call.
Juel returned to India on Thursday night. He has been asked to report to the Bengal archery academy for training as he is to participate in some national-level competitions in the coming months.
Krishnendu Choudhury, secretary of the Malda District Sports’ Association, said they had decided to start an archery coaching camp. “We are proud of this boy and will organise a felicitation once he returns. Also, a training camp for budding archers will be opened by our association,” he said.