Jyothi hungry for more success at Asian Games, eyeing ‘triple gold’ feat

Hangzhou, Oct 4 (PTI) Indian compound archer Jyothi Surekha Vennam’s hunger for medals still is yet satiate.

Even after winning about two dozen medals at the World Cups and World Championships.

A winner of eight medals at the World Championships, and 15 at the World Cups, Jyothi is cherishing her maiden Asian Games gold and now wants to complete a hat-trick of yellow metals at the Hangzhou showpiece.

“This is my first gold medal in the Asian Games so I’m really happy,” said Jyothi here after winning the compound mixed pair gold with teammate Ojas Deotale.

For the 27-year-old, this was a first Asian Games gold medal in her third appearances.

Jyothi has already made the individual final, while she is also in contention for a third in the women’s team event where she along with Aditi Swami and Parneet Kaur will fight their way from the quarterfinals onwards.

“We also have the team finals tomorrow (Thursday), and I am in the individual finals. I’m looking forward to taking two more golds.

Jyothi had a flawless outing in the final where she shot all perfect scores from her eight arrows as she along with Deotale downed second-seeded South Korean pair So Chaewon and Joo Jaehoon 159-158.

“Korea are a very strong team and we knew that we were going to have a very tough fight. We were focused on fighting until our last arrow.” “It will really boost archery in India. Archery has been gaining a lot of attention. This gold in compound means a lot for us,” she said.

Hailing from a sport family with her dad a college-level kabaddi player, Jyothi, who grew up on the banks of river Krishna, started off as a swimmer just before her fifth birthday.

They wanted her “to excel” in sport and Jyothi showed her spark in swimming too when she got into ‘Limca Book of Records’ by crossing the Krishna thrice in just three hours and 20 minutes and six seconds.

But lack of opportunity in swimming in her city Vijaywada meant that she had to quit the sport and try excelling in some other.

So in 2007 archery happened to her abruptly as her father put her into a nearby academy. She had to wait for one year to win her maiden medal in archery at the under-13 national in Vijaywada where she claimed six gold medals.

But it took her seven years and 12 World Cups after her senior debut in 2011 to claim her maiden medal.

“Every medal is same, and close to heart because you always put in the same effort to win,” he said.

“I never thought I would win so many medals when I started. But every step feels like new,” she said.

As India have bettered their previous Asian Games record in archery confirming four medals already, all in compound section, Jyothi credited the success to coach Sergio Pagni, a two-time World Cup Final winner.

“This time, the foreign coach (Pagni) is associated with us for a longer time. In 2018 also, he was there but for a brief period. We have made good progress under him,” she said.

“There are a lot of factors that contributed to this success. This year, from the start of the season, the Indian team has been doing great.

“It builds up confidence in yourself if you’re doing continuously well. We were just focused on giving our best despite what the result may be,” she signed off.

Source: PTI News


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