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Tokyo Olympics: Deepika Kumari in focus as India look to exorcise past ghosts

Deepika Kumari
Image Source : PTI

Deepika Kumari 

Up towards a well-known pre-Olympic hype and with historical past stacked closely towards them, Indian archers could have a sense of deja vu once they start their Tokyo Games marketing campaign with the rankings spherical right here on Friday.

Notwithstanding the ladies’s group’s failure to qualify, the quartet of Deepika Kumari, Atanu Das, Tarundeep Rai and Pravin Jadhav entered the mega-event with renewed hopes of successful the nation’s first Olympic medal in the game.

The greatest prospects are the husband-wife duo of Das and Deepika who would look to recreate the magic of the Paris World Cup in the blended pair competitors that may make its Games debut on Saturday on the Yumenoshima Park.

Since the 1988 Games, India have produced many champions in the game with the likes of Limba Ram after which Dola Banerjee successful in any respect ranges besides on the Olympics.

Jayanta Talukdar had change into a world quantity two in 2006, whereas Dola had raised the bar in 2007 by turning into the world champion, however all of them fizzled out at Beijing 2008.

What adopted was a meteoric rise of Deepika, who turned many heads round at a younger age of 15, by successful the Youth World Championships in 2009 after which bagging two gold on the New Delhi Commonwealth Games subsequent 12 months.

But in London 2012, she made a first-round exit as a full energy Indian facet failed to make any influence, and the outing was no higher in Rio de Janeiro 4 years later.

Competing in her third successive Olympics, two-time world No. 1 Deepika has seen all of it, from the lows of London to hitting rock-bottom at Rio 2016.

Five years down the road, the firebrand archer from Ranchi is in the type of her life having already received 5 World Cup gold medals in latest occasions. Wiser and maybe extra daring, Deepika’s greatest problem can be to overcome the Koreans, who’re each mentally and bodily robust.

“It’s very important because Indian archery does not have an Olympic medal so I want to win,” Deepika stated forward of the Games.

“I want to prove to myself that I can win. So it’s very important for me, my entire archery team and my country.”

In the absence of defending champion Chang Hye Jin who failed to make the reduce, Deepika’s greatest risk is Kang Chae Young, who would have been the world No. 1 if the Olympics have been held in 2020.

The promising 20-year-old An San, who had overwhelmed Deepika in straight units en route to win the gold on the Tokyo 2020 Test Event in July 2019, would additionally pose an enormous problem.

Having certified for the primary time since 2012, the Indian males’s group additionally gives some promise and it will be an enormous achievement, ought to they make the last-four.

Comprising veteran Army archer Tarundeep Rai, Das and the promising Pravin Jadhav, the boys’s group received a silver medal on the World Championships in 2019 to ebook its place on the Olympics.

Rai is competing in his third Olympics since making his debut at Athens 2004, whereas Das will make his second look after Rio.

The world rankings do not give the proper image as neither Korea nor Chinese Taipei, China and Japan actually competed internationally because the second half of 2019.

All 4 of those nations will likely be at full energy in the Japanese capital and it stays to be seen whether or not the Indians are ready to overcome the Asian risk and the acquainted stress of being on the Olympics.

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