NEW DELHI: Saturday was India’s female compound archers’ time to shine at the Archery World Championships in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. And shine they did as the compound women’s team of Jyothi Surekha Vennam, Muskan Kirar and Raj Kaur came from behind to down Turkey by three points and claim a bronze medal. That was not all as Jyothi then went on to win bronze in the individual section as well after upsetting World No 2 Yesim Bostan of Turkey.
Jyothi was the star in the team match as she shot six perfect 10s out of eight arrows to seal a 229-226 win. And then in the individual match, she was trailing her opponent by two points going into the penultimate set. She went on to shoot five perfect 10s in her last five shots to clinch the deal.
“World Championship is the pinnacle for compound archers. It feels great to win two medals. Hopefully, this will give a big boost to the sport back in the country,” the 22-year-old told this daily. This was her first individual medal in this competition. The women’s team had won silver in the last edition in Mexico City (2017).
Jyothi, however, did not have the perfect start to the day when she shot in the outer circle for an 8 in the women’s team bronze play-off as the Turk team of Yesim, Gizem Elmaagacli and Ipek Tomruk shot four perfect scores to win the first end by two points (57-55).
In the second end, Turkey failed to find the centre even once, while shooting an 8. The Indians snatched the opportunity and grabbed a three-point lead, winning by 58-53 with Jyothi finding her rhythm back.
“Rhythm is very important and I had a good feeling while releasing the arrow. I was nervous ahead of the individual match but that rhythm really helped as I shot better as the match progressed.”
Unlike their recurve counterparts, the compound archers did not have any acclimatisation camp as they had to train in Sonepat, where the temperature touched 45. “It is quite cold here. It was difficult to adjust initially but I’m glad that everything went well in the end,” the archer from Vijayawada said.
India are also in the fray for a first-ever World Championship gold medal with the men’s recurve team taking on China Sunday in a bid to upgrade their 2005 Madrid silver medal.