Deepika KUMARI

India IND

Archery

  • Games participations
    3
  • First Olympic Games
    London 2012
  • Year of Birth
    1994
Olympic Results

Biography

Deepika KUMARI

For someone who practiced archery with equipment made from bamboo, it's nothing short of astonishing to see her reach the pinnacle of the sport. Deepika Kumari has done just that.

With three Olympic appearances and a string of medals in World Cups, Asian championships, the Commonwealth Games, the world championships and the Asian Games, the story of the champion archer from a village called Ram Chatti near Ranchi, Jharkhand, is simply incredible. 

Enough for Netflix to capture in a documentary titled Ladies First.

“My parents wanted me to do something in a way that my pictures would appear in the newspapers, and now they are flabbergasted that I have become bigger than they ever expected me to,” Deepika says.

With her father working as an auto-rickshaw driver, Deepika Kumari grew up watching her parents struggle to make ends meet. However, the wheels of fortune began to turn after she managed to join a state-run archery academy that provided free training facilities and equipment for underprivileged athletes.

The rewards soon followed and by the time she was 15, Deepika Kumari made her first big impression on the international stage, marking the prologue to her fairytale rise.

The following year, she bagged two gold medals – one in the women’s individual recurve event and the other in the women’s recurve team event – at the 2010 Commonwealth Games to strengthen her stature in the sport.

Deepika Kumari hit the bullseye for her first Archery World Cup gold medal in individual recurve at Antalya, Turkey in 2012. This arrived on the back of four silver medals in the World Cup at Ogden the preceding year. 

Her name travelled far, expectations soared and hit a new high when in the 2012 London Olympics, she entered as the world No. 1. The hype was short-lived as a fever dented her prospects and she was eliminated in the first round.

The early exit at London 2012 hit her hard as the young archer struggled to regain her form for months. She bounced back only at the 2014 Wroclaw Archery World Cup, where Deepika Kumari won a gold in the team event. She rode that momentum at the 2015 world championships, where she finished runners-up.

She even equalled the world record in the women’s recurve event in April 2016, just before heading into the Rio Olympics.

However, Deepika Kumari’s Olympic dream only fizzled out in the round of 16 in Rio, further prolonging her wait to add an Olympic medal in her already well-adorned medals cabinet.

After an uncharacteristically quiet two years, Deepika Kumari rediscovered her touch at the Archery World Cup at Salt Lake City, USA in 2018. The victory also marked a shift in mentality for the Indian archer who had been working with a mental conditioning coach during her individual gold drought.

Deepika Kumari continued her rich form by bagging the bronze at the 2019 Asian championships in the women’s and mixed team before the COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to a standstill.

However, the year-long break didn’t break the momentum as Deepika returned with another gold at the 2021 World Cup in Guatemala City and followed it up with three more golds at the Paris World Cup ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

Riding high on her stellar run, Deepika Kumari went to her third straight Olympics and once again, as the world No. 1. At the Tokyo Olympics, she did better than her two previous performances at the Summer Games but fell short in the quarter-final of both individual and mixed team events.

However, Deepika Kumari’s disheartening Olympic campaigns do not take away the fact that she is still one of the best archers in the world.

Deepika Kumari has been conferred with the Arjuna Award and the Padma Shri awards. She is married to fellow Indian archer and Olympian Atanu Das.

Olympic Results

More results
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Tokyo 2020

#6
Mixed Team
Mixed Team Archery
#8
Women's Individual
Women's Individual Archery
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Rio 2016

#=9
Individual
Individual Archery
#6
Team
Team Archery
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

London 2012

#=33
Individual
Individual Archery
#=9
Team
Team Archery