Vijayawada archer Bommadevara Dhiraj aims for Olympic medal

In the 19th Asian Games held in Hangzhou, China, Bommadevara Dhiraj secured a silver medal as part of the Indian team, contributing to India’s medal tally.
Bommadevara Dhiraj
Bommadevara Dhiraj

VIJAYAWADA: Vijayawada-based international recurve archer Bommadevara Dhiraj has qualified for the Paris Olympics 2024, scheduled to take place from July 26 to August 11, 2024. This marks a significant milestone in his burgeoning career. At just 23 years old, Dhiraj has been making waves internationally, clinching prestigious titles and medals in archery. He has etched his name in Indian archery history, now standing as India’s top-ranked archer in the recurve category, proudly holding the title of India No. 1.

Dhiraj, hailing from Royyuru village in Krishna district, is ranked India No. 1, Continental Rank No. 5 (Asia), World No. 13, and World Cup Rank No. 3. In the recent Archery World Cup 2024 Stage 3, held in Antalya of Turkey, from June 18 to 23, 2024, he secured an individual bronze by defeating Italy’s Mauro Nespoli, a multiple-time Olympic medal winner. He also won a mixed bronze, which qualified him for the 2024 Olympics. Dhiraj achieved 689 points out of 720, the highest score ever achieved by an Indian archer in the individual event.

Dhiraj’s remarkable journey began at the Cherukuri Volga Archery Academy in Vijayawada, where he honed his skills under the guidance of esteemed trainers, international archer late Cherukuri Lenin and Cherukuri Satyanarayana. His medal hunt started with a third place finish in his debut tournament, the 1st Mini Inter District Archery Championship 2008 in Vijayawada, and has continued with success to date.

In the 19th Asian Games held in Hangzhou, China, Dhiraj secured a silver medal as part of the Indian team, contributing to India’s medal tally. Following this achievement, he was promoted to Subedar, having joined the Indian Army in 2021 as a Havaldar.

Speaking to TNIE, Dhiraj expressed his excitement about qualifying for the Paris Olympics 2024. “I am delighted to qualify for the Olympics, which is one of my dreams. My current aim is to bring a medal to India in the Olympics at any cost, and I am working hard to achieve this goal,” he said.

Dhiraj’s stellar performance in various prestigious tournaments, including the Hermosillo 2023 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final, Paris 2023 Hyundai Archery World Cup Stage 4, and the Berlin 2023 World Archery Championship, has earned him international acclaim and accolades.

His parents, B Shrawan Kumar and Revathi, who are private teachers, expressed their pride and joy. Speaking to TNIE, Shrawan Kumar said, “We are thrilled that he has qualified for the Paris Olympics. We are confident in his ability to bring an Olympic medal home with his performance, which is his dream. From the beginning, Dhiraj has been sincere and works hard to achieve his goals. He is dedicated to win a medal in the Olympics also.”

Dhiraj’s journey to success has been marked by numerous milestones, including his gold medal win at the 2021 Youth World Archery Championship held in Wroclaw, Poland. He has consistently showcased his mettle in various stages of the World Cup, demonstrating skill and determination on the global platform.

Cherukuri Satyanarayana, President and Chief Coach of Cherukuri Volga Archery Academy, expressed his delight, stating, “Dhiraj’s achievements make Vijayawada proud. With his focus on winning a medal at the Paris Olympics, his determination and passion inspire all, embodying true sportsmanship and excellence. Top Korean archers fear him, and I have no doubt he will secure a medal at the Paris Olympics.”

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