Historically, archery had been used for combat and hunting. According to the Hindu epic Mahabharatha, India is the land where the best archer of the world, ‘Arjuna’ lived. However, in modern times, archery is more of a competitive sport and recreational activity. Continuing our series of deep diving into the different sports that India will be taking part in the Olympics 2016, here we come up with an analysis about Indian Archery at Olympics 2016.
Archery in Olympics:
Archery first appeared in Olympics Games in 1900, but was discontinued after 1920. It returned in 1972 and since then the format has been standardized with minor tweaks here and there.
In 2012 London Olympics, South Koreans was hugely dominant, as they won gold in all but one event, and broke two world records. They are expected to have a good show this time as well, even if their performance is not as spectacular as last time.
India at Olympics:
India has never won a medal in archery in Olympics stage. Though Indians have performed well at World Cup stages, somehow Olympic medal has continued to remain elusive to them. Deepika Kumari was hugely expected to win a medal in London 2012 Olympics, but she succumbed to pressure and got eliminated early.
Format of the game:
The archery event will take place from August 6th to 12th. There are 4 events: men’s individual, women’s individual, men’s team and women’s team and each follows the approved 70 meters standard where there is a fixed target.
Initially all 64 archers of each gender will shoot 72 arrows, and this is used for seeding purpose. The format of the tournament is knockout from the first stage and the draw-offs are based on seeding. Each match is the best of 5 sets, with 3 arrows per set. If the scores of both oppositions are same in a set, it is considered a tie. If at the end of 5 sets, number of sets are equal, a single arrow shoot-off will be held the closest to the centre is declared the winner.
Previewing India’s chances in Olympics:
Deepika Kumari shoulders the hopes of a medal in archery for India
India has a strong hope in archery this time, especially from the women’s team to deliver a bronze at least. Indian contingent consists of 4 archers and they will compete in three medal disciplines: both team and individuals for the three-member women’s team of Deepika Kumari, Laxmirani Majhi and Bombayla Devi Laishram and men’s individual by Atanu Das. The men’s team has failed to qualify for Olympics 2016. There is a lot of expectation from Deepika Kumari
Deepika has been in red hot form this year. She got her world record equalling score of 686/720 in Shanghai World Cup earlier this year. In her recent past, she has gotten a gold medal in the archery World Cup in Columbia 2013 and an individual gold medal in 2012 Archery World Cup, Turkey. Even though her current world rank is 12, she is definitely in the race to win a medal owing to her good run to the tournament.
This is Laxmirani’s first attempt at Olympics medal. She clinched a silver medal in the individual recurve event and the team event at the 2015 Archery World Championships in Copenhagen last year, which got her qualified for Rio. She is a consistent performer, known to get 10s quite frequently.
India’s head coach Dharmendra Tiwari about team’s draw: “Depending on the draw, four matches will be under lights. We may not have to play single matches under lights. But we’re prepared.”
Do you know?
All 4 events are recurve archery events, where recurve bow is a bow in which the limbs curve away from archer when unstrung and stores a high amount of energy compared to the straight bow.