London Olympics preview: Archers are of best ever




Never before the archery team carried the talents and expectations such as the current one into the Olympics.

The land which once owned the greatest archers Arjuna and Eklavya in his epic is now finally owns the world best women archer Deepika Kumari. The 18 year old and the current world no.1 (Recurve category) Deepika who is yet to finish her school will be leading the archery team in their pursuit of medals that also consists of world no. 15 Jayanta Talukdar and no. 17 Tarundeep Rai. The Korean’s and Chinese are probably the one to beat for India if they want to win gold medal. India has 6 archers in London Olympics.

Individual Event – A gold medal at sight

Anything less than a gold don’t do justice to Deepika.

Deepika in all considerations, India’s and archery team’s best hope to win the gold medal. Not just the ranking alone, she is in also very good form. Deepika won gold in individual recurve event in recently held world championship at Turkey. She defeated the Korean opponent in the final to lift the individual title which took her the no.1 from no.3 in the rankings. She also won gold in the 2010 commonwealth games. The ability to handle pressure at crucial situations decides her fate in London because at 18yrs, more often than not nerves gets the better of our abilities.

Rest of five players hold distinct probabilities in winning a medal with Jayanta Talukdar and 2010 Asian games silver medalist Tarundeep Rai expected to do better. Actually only Deepika and Talukdar directly qualified in individual events, rest only came through team qualification.

The individual events are scheduled over 6 days starting from July 27th with women’s final on August 2nd and men’s final on August 3rd.

Team Event – Expect atleast a medal

On their day, they are capable of beating any team. Lets hope July 29 is the day.

The chances women’s winning a medal looks better than men’s team. Our women’s team is neither a outright favourite nor a day dreamer, rather a dark horse . The women’s team of Deepika, Bombayla Devi and Swuro won gold medal in 2010 commonwealth games and world championship but Bombayla and Swuro must put their best at Olympics to keep the errors out. They might be experienced but the ranking of above 40 in world suggest their current competence level. They should do well to support Deepika by getting 9 or 10 pts more often than not, to consistently boost the overall team score. If India don’t face either Korea or China till semi-finals then a medal is a surety.

The men’s  team consists of two top 20 world rank players along with in-form Rahul Banerjee whose superb performances despite losing his own bow in airport helped the team qualify for Olympics a month ago in USA. The form of and performance of men’s team, which waited till the last qualification event for booking tickets to London is cause of concern. Their chances of a medal is strictly based on how well they perform in seeding round. Better the seeding, better the chances of a medal in men’s team event.

Both women’s and men’s team event will start and finish in a day actually. Men’s scheduled for July 28th whereas women’s is on July 29th.

Deepika Kumari is assured of a medal but anything less than a gold don’t do justice to her. If everything goes in our favour, then expect 3 medals from archery team.

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