India secure Olympic team quotas in archery; Deepika, Rai set for fourth Games appearances

New Delhi, Jun 24 (PTI) For the first time in 12 years, India will be sending a full six-member archery contingent to the Olympics, making them eligible to compete in all the five events at the Paris Games.

This was made possible after the Indian men and women secured the team quotas based on the updated world rankings on Monday.

Team qualification guarantees participation in all events in archery at the Olympics.

The last time India fielded a six-member team at Olympics was in London 2012 where they competed in all the four events. The mixed team event was introduced in the last Olympics in Tokyo.

India have never won a medal in archery at the quadrennial extravaganza.

In the men’s section, India and China made the cut, while in the women’s category Indonesia were the second nation to secure the team quota.

The team events will have 12 sides in each section, while five outfits will compete in the mixed competitions.

For the first time, team quotas are offered to the top-two nations after the three-leg Olympic qualifiers.

The first Olympic qualifier was the World Archery Championships in Berlin last year from where South Korea, Turkey and Japan qualified in men’s category; while Germany and Mexico secured their spots in women’s division.

The second leg was a continental qualifier.

Kazakhstan and South Korea took the men’s and women’s team quotas respectively from the Asian leg, while Colombia and the United States made the cut from Pan-America.

From the European leg, Italy (men) and the Netherlands (women) secured quotas.

The final Olympic qualifier was held in Antalya, Turkey last week.

Mexico, Chinese Taipei, Great Britain in men’s section; China, Malaysia, Great Britain and Chinese Taipei in the women’s section secured quotas from the final qualifier.

Tarun, Deepika hit a four ================= There will be no further Olympic trial as the Archery Association of India (AAI) has decided to retain the World Cup Stage 3 squad, paving the way for 40-year-old Tarundeep Rai and former world No 1 Deepika Kumari’s fourth Olympic appearances.

Asian Games silver medallist Army veteran Rai had made his Olympic debut at Athens 2004.

Deepika, who made a comeback after giving birth to her daughter in December 2022, will compete in her fourth Olympics on the trot, having made her maiden appearance in London 2012.

Dhiraj Bommadevara, Ankita Bhakat and Bhajan Kaur will make their Olympic debuts, while for Pravin Jadhav, it will be his second successive Games after Tokyo.

“The archery contingent will leave on July 9 for acclimatisation in Paris. We have good memories of Paris, hopefully we can do it this time,” Indian high performance director Sanjeeva Singh told PTI.

He picked the men’s team, mixed team, and individual events as India’s strong medal prospects.

India won two bronze medals in men’s and women’s team events in 2023, and in 2022, the women’s trio bagged a silver.

Deepika also has a World Cup gold in Paris in 2021 and a silver medal in the 2013 World Cup Final.

As of now, the members will shift base to Army Sports Institute in Pune for a two-week camp, simulating Olympic atmosphere, something they had done before Tokyo Games too, Singh said.

Paris Olympics archery competitions at Invalides will be a nine-day affair and will get underway with the qualification round on July 25, followed by team medal events on July 28 (women’s) and July 29 (men’s).

Individual rounds will start from July 30. The mixed team final will be on August 2, while the individuals finals will be on August 3 (women’s) and August 4 (men’s).

India squad: Men: Tarundeep Rai, Dhiraj Bommadevara and Pravin Jadhav.

Women: Deepika Kumari, Bhajan Kaur and Ankita Bhakat.

Coaches: Baek Woongki, Poornima Mahato and Sonam Tshering Bhutia.

Source: PTI News

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