Archery World Cup Final: Who are the Indians in contention?
Top 32 archers from across the world will compete in the Archery World Cup Final, which will be held in Yankton, USA on September 29-30.
Three Indian archers – Atanu Das, Deepika Kumari and Abhishek Verma – will participate in World Archery’s season-ending finale. Only eight archers per gender and bow type qualify for this elite tournament, based on their performance in previous World Cups and world ranking.
We look at the three Indians in the fray:
Kumari is still ranked No 1 in the world in recurve. The 27-year-old has won two individual gold medals in 2021 – at World Cup Stage 1 in Guatemala City in April and World Cup Stage 3 in Paris in June.
Though Kumari was on a roll going into Tokyo 2020, she could not win an elusive medal in her third Olympics. The Indian went down 0-6 to Korea’s An San in the quarterfinal.
Kumari has won 5 medals – 4 silver, 1 bronze -- at the World Cup Final previously. Her first podium finish in the season-ending finale came in 2011, when she was still a teenager, as the Indian went down 5-6 to China’s Cheng Ming in the gold medal match in Istanbul, Turkey.
This is second World Cup final appearance for Das. He had made his debut in 2017 but went down 4-6 to Korea’s Im Ji Wan in the opening round.
The 29-year-old Das is currently ranked World No 6 among recurve men. He qualified for the finale by clinching gold at the World Cup Stage 1 in Guatemala City.
Competing in his second Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020, Das finished a disappointing ninth. Japan’s Takaharu Furukawa defeated him 6-4 in the third round. The top-ranked Indian will be hoping to end his season on a high by doing well in Yankton.
Verma is the only Indian competing in compound bow category.
Ranked No 9 in the world currently, Verma is the first Indian to win two World Cup gold medals in individual compound archery. He defeated American Kris Schaff in a shoot-off during the gold medal match at the World Cup Stage 3 in Paris in June to achieve the feat.
He had won the first World Cup medal in Wroclaw, Poland in 2015.
The 32-year-old will be competing in his third World Cup Final. He has never returned from the finale empty-handed – he won a silver on debut in Mexico City in 2015 and claimed a bronze in Samsun in 2018.