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Deepika wins gold, India secure an Olympic quota

Deepika Kumari

Bengaluru, November 28: Ace Indian archer Deepika Kumari won gold after beating Ankita Bhakat 6-0 in the recurve event final of the Asian Continental Archery Qualification tournament at Bangkok, Thailand.

With Deepika' s victory, India is assured of an Olympic quota in the event to go with the team qualification in the men's section for the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Three individual places were up for grabs from the qualifications and Indian archers, who are competing without a flag due to the national federation's suspension, made a big statement with top seed Deepika and sixth seed Ankita's stellar show.

Entering the brackets as the number one ranked woman, Deepika put up a flawless show to defeat Nur Afisa Abdul Halil of Malaysia 7-2, Zahra Nemati (Iran) 6-4 and local girl Narisara Khunhiranchaiyo 6-2 to make the last four, thereby securing an Olympic quota.

"We were a little bit nervous earlier in the day... There was too much wind also. I just concentrated on my breathing and told myself 'just do it' I'm feeling good right now," Deepika was quoted as saying by PTI news agency.

It was before the final round against the local challenger Narisara, Deepika promised her fiance and team-mate Atanu to shoot a 28 but Deepika did one better by hitting two perfect 10s and one nine to seal the issue.

"We wanted to give our best. Also I promised (mixed team partner and fiance) Atanu that I will shoot 28. He told me go and shoot. He understands my mind too and it turned out nicely," she said.

"Now we hope to qualify a team berth from the Berlin stage of the World Cup next year," she added.

Later in the day, Deepika stormed into the final with another one-sided 6-2 win over Nguyet.

Ankita, on the other hand, defeated Lam Shuk Ching Ada of Hong Kong 7-1, Nguyen Thi Phuong of Vietnam 6-0 and Anastassiya Bannova (Kazhakstan) 6-4 and Karma of Bhutan 6-2 to make it an all-Indian final.

The Indian trio of Deepika, Ankita and Laishram Bombayala Devi competed under a neutral flag due to the current suspension of the Archery Association of India (AAI), which is in administrative turmoil right now.

(With inputs from PTI)

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Story first published: Thursday, November 28, 2019, 16:45 [IST]
Other articles published on Nov 28, 2019
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