India is a sports-loving nation and has a special space in India. We are blessed to have Word class athletes and players which has produced so many great sportsmen in every sport. In recent times Indian women athletes have amazed us by breaking the gender barrier and created a niche which inspired the future generation. Players like Sania Mirza, Mary Kom, Mithali Raj, Saina Nehwal, Geeta Phogat, Sakshi Malik, Deepa Malik, PV Sindhu, Dipa Karmakar, Mithali Raj to name a few have reached the top against odds and also made us proud by being trailblazers the best game-changers we will ever know. They have taught us to look beyond gender stereotypes and paved the way to empower us all.
Deepika Kumari is one of best ever archers in the country, who has taken the sport to another level. She has come a long way and living proof that all dreams can true if you put hard work towards achieving them. There was a time when she used to train from archery with equipment made out of bamboo. She hails from a very humble background; her father is an auto-rickshaw driver and her mother is a nurse at the Ranchi Medical College.
Kumari commenced her professional archery career way back in 2016 and decided to join the Tata Archery Academy in Jamshedpur. The main reason to join the academy as Deepika Kumari while growing up had seen her parents struggle to make ends meet. But soon things started falling in place managed to join a state-run archery academy under join the Tata Archery Academy which provided free training facilities and equipment for underprivileged athletes.
Soon things started falling in place as Deepika started making a mark the international stage. When she was 15, started winning 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. She followed with winning gold medal in individual recurve at Antalya, Turkey in 2012. Post an uncharacteristically quiet two years, Deepika Kumari rediscovered her Midas touch in the Archery World Cup at Salt Lake City, USA in 2018. Luck shined on her and which also marked a shift in mentality for the Indian archer who had been working with a mental conditioning coach during her individual gold drought.
She has been on fire and winning the bronze at the 2019 Asian championships and a gold at the 2021 World Cup in Guatemala City. Deepika Kumari has made the whole country proud with her astounding achievements in the field of archery. gold medal at the Archery World Cup in Paris and Determined to win the medal at the Tokyo Olympics, Deepika Kumari working towards the goal and training very hard. Deepika Kumari today regained the number one position in global rankings post her hat-trick of gold medals at the World Cup Stage 3. World Archery had tweeted and wrote, “This is going to take Deepika to the number one spot in the world rankings on Monday,”
Indian faced little challenge in the competition in the absence of the world number one Korean who didn’t participate in the in the tournament. Deepika gave a constant performance in each of them, playing back-to-back four matches in less than five hours. Deepika first collective with Ankita Bhakat and Komalika Bari to clinched the women’s recurve team gold with a comfortable win over Mexico. She went on to partner with her husband Atanu Das and the couple went to defeat Netherland’s Sjef van den Berg and Gabriela Schloesser 5-3 for the gold medal.
As of now, in the World Cup had won the nine gold, 12 silver and seven bronze medals. While interacting with the media, Deepika was quoted saying that “This is the first time I’ve won all three medals in a World Cup. I’m really happy but at the same time, I’ve to continue improving as we have some very, very important competitions lined up.”
The 27-year-old from Ranchi has been conferred with the Arjuna Award and the Padma Shri awards, Deepika Kumari is married to fellow Indian archer Atanu Das, and the two will compete together at the Tokyo Olympics.