Young archers Dipti Kumari and Parth Salunkhe overcame strong competition to win the individual recurve gold medals at the 2021 national archery championship held at the Tata Archery Academy in Jamshedpur.
The two left in their wake an experienced field that featured Tokyo Olympians Deepika Kumari, Atanu Das, Pravin Jadhav and former world medallist Jayanta Talukdar.
The 19-year-old Dipti Kumari, representing Jharkhand, defeated reigning youth world champion Komalika Bari 7-3 in the recurve women’s individual final. Dipti came back from a set down to clinch the top honours. Simranjeet Kaur took the bronze.
Meanwhile, in the men’s individual recurve, Maharashtra’s Parth Salunkhe stood on top of the podium after prevailing over Services’ Sukhchain Singh 7-3 in the summit clash. Amit Yadav settled for the bronze medal.
Parth Salunkhe, 17, had represented India at the world championships last month by finishing among the top three during the selection trials held in August.
It was a disappointing outing for the husband-wife duo of Deepika Kumari and Atanu Das.
Three-time Olympian Deepika Kumari topped the ranking round but lost in the round of 32 while her husband Atanu Das crashed out in the pre-quarterfinals of the individual events.
The couple, representing PSPB, then lost in the quarter-finals of the mixed team to Rajasthan’s Prachi Singh and Kapish Singh.
Jharkhand, comprising Komalika Bari and Jayanta Talukdar, were the mixed team winners while Haryana and Madhya Pradesh were crowned the recurve men and women’s team champions, respectively.
However, unlike recurve, the compound category saw the heavyweights take the top positions.
Former Asian champions and world medallists Abhishek Verma and Jyothi Vennam won gold medals in the individual compound competitions.
The event received 950 entries in all for the (bamboo) bow competitions, compound and recurve categories. The nationals were not held last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The top 16 archers in each category will compete at the selection trials in Jamshedpur next for a spot at the 2021 Asian championship, which will be held in Dhaka, Bangladesh in November.