Blown out quite literally in the London Olympics in 2012, Indian Archers are all set to break the jinx and turn down the naysayers. As Archery and football are the sports that kick start before the actual Olympics begin, the four-member Indian team will step into Rio’s landmark Sambadrome Marques de Sapucai on Friday.
Winning a medal in Olympics is the highest honour Indian Archers will ever receive, and they have prepared themselves well for it. The team consists of Deepika Kumari, Bombayla Devi Laishram, Laxmirani Majhi and Atanu Das.
While Atanu Das will compete in Men’s Individual, the rest three will participate in both individual as well as a team in the Women’s section.
Atanu Das, supported by the Olympic Gold Quest represents India in the Recurve Men’s Individual and Team events. He made his international debut in 2008 at the age of 14 and His current world ranking is 67. Atanu had won a bronze medal, with Deepika Kumari, in the 2013 World Cup Mixed Team event organized in Colombia.
Deepika Kumari, who at a young age of 15 burst into limelight by becoming the cadet world champion in Ogden (2009) competing in a field of under-18 age group.Two years later, the Ranchi girl showed that she has it in her to go a long way by becoming the junior (Under-21) world champion in Legnica, Poland.
At last count, she had more than 10 gold medals at the world level including winning the team and individual finals at the Commonwealth Games, New Delhi (2010) when she stunned five-time Olympian and bronze-medallist Alison Williamson of Great Britain.
By 2012 Olympics, Deepika became world’s no.1 archer with her team but could not meet the expectations during the then Olympic games as it was her maiden game. She also remained out of the team due to her bad performance but bounced back at the right time to join in the Olympics.
Bombayla Devi Laishram represented India at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the women’s individual as well as team events, but failed to reach the finals in both events. At the 2012 London Olympics, she bowed out in the second round of the women’s individual re curve event losing 2-6 to Mexico’s Aída Román on the 30 July 2012. But with hopes and hard work, she is ready to bounce back.
Daughter of a coal-mine worker of santhal tribe, Laxmirani did not know about Olympics before taking up archery. Rio Olympics is going to be her maiden.
The Indian team is going to miss the grand opening of the Games on 5th as they have their ranking round on the same day and they look forward to finish on a high rank to get an easy draw. This shows the level of dedication in the Indian team and is making everyone wait to see them perform at the Rio Olympics.