Bouncing back after their less than par performance in London Olympics, Indian women archers overcame stiff competition from their arch-rival Chinese to claim the recurve Gold at Archery World Cup which concluded in Columbia recently. Deepika Kumari, a member of the Gold Medalist team spoke to Zee Media correspondent Chaitan Papnai in tete-a-tete, talking about the newly made recurve team, her biggest dream, status of Indian archery and other important aspects of her life. Excerpts...
Wind dashed the medal dreams of Indian archers at the London Olympics. Barely, an year later, the Indian women’s recurve team thrashed China in finals of the recently concluded World Cup at Columbia to win the gold medal under similar windy conditions. How did the team manage such a complete transformation?
After facing a tough time in the Olympics, we started working on this weakness of ours. Wind was blowing here as well (Columbia), but I guess this time around we adjusted ourselves accordingly and after the initial few shots, we came back hard and managed to beat a tough competitor China in the finals.
How do find the new recurve team that includes Rimil Buriuly and Bombayla Devi apart from you?
We have been playing as a team for a last couple of tournaments and I guess we three make it a strong team. According to me this is one of the best teams and it has the potential to win major tournaments in the future.
As an individual you are a strong competitor and can give any archer a run for her money. But what all are the gray areas in your game that you are working on?
There are quite a few areas where I have been working. Wind factor gave me immense trouble in the Olympics, so I am working on that front – how to adjust swiftly according to the situation. Apart from that I have been trying to work on my technical aspects; shooting form is one among them.
You have won many accolades in such a short span in your career. What is your next target?
It’s just the beginning of my career. My next target is to perform well in the Asian Games (Incheon, S Korea) next year. But my ultimate aim is to win an Olympic gold for my country.
Where is Indian archery headed, according to you?
I believe in the last couple of years archery has been growing slowly but steadily in this country. But I still feel a lot more archery academies are required. It’s quite an expensive sport, as its equipments are very costly, so the sport needs more backing from the government and of course more sponsors are required.
Which sportsperson you admire the most?
The sportsperson that I like the most is none other than our very own Sachin Tendulkar. I like every aspect of his personality. I want to be like him. Such a big sportsperson he is…still very down to earth and humble. And the best part, he knows how to tackle the media glare. (laughs)
You hail from a humble background. Now you are getting the name and fame. Is there anything you want to give it back to your parents?
Financially, my family has faced tough times in the past. I always pray that we don’t face such time again. It was real tough time. Thankfully, now I have enough money. I am building a house in Jharkhand, at the same place where we live. Though we (family) wanted to make it somewhere else but my father is quite attached with that place. So the construction work is on and once it’s complete, it will be a small gift from my end to my parents.
What is the stress buster for you?
I generally like to watch comedy serials on TV. At present I love to watch ‘Comedy Nights with Kapil Sharma’. In fact, during the recently concluded World Cup, we all watched it there as well.