Ace archer Deepika Kumari secured a Olympic 2020 quota at the Continental Qualification Tournament at the 21st Asian Archery Championships in Bangkok, Thailand.
Entering the competition as the number one ranked woman, Deepika Kumari put up a flawless show to defeat Nur Afisa Abdul Halil of Malaysia 7-2, Zahra Nemati of Iran 6-4 and local girl Narisara Khunhiranchaiyo 6-2 to make the last four, thereby securing an Olympic quota. Post the match, she was quoted saying, “We were a little bit nervous earlier in the day…it was really windy. I just concentrated on my breathing and told myself ‘just do it’. I’m feeling good right now”.
Deepika Kumari, the two-time World Champion is a trailblazing example of hard work and success. Coming from a non-athlete family, she made the nation proud with numerous medals by pouring her blood, sweat and tears into archery. Deepika Kumari’s father Shivnarayan Mahato was an auto-rickshaw driver while her mother Geeta Mahato worked as a nurse at Ranchi Medical College.
Another Indian archer Ankita Bhakat was also not far behind and settled for a silver medal after losing 0-6 in the decider.Even though she finished second-best, she was ineligible for a quota as there was only one on offer per nation.
This is India’s second Olympic quota after the men’s Recurve team comprising Tarundeep Rai, Atanu Das and Pravin Jadhav had secured the first in the World Championships earlier this year.