KOLKATA, June 19: Just a month before the Olympics, the Indian women’s recurve team will look to earn the maximum quota place when the last qualification event for Tokyo Games takes place in Paris from Saturday.
While the men’s team of Atanu Das, Tarundeep Rai and Pravin Jadhav have already earned team quota place, only Deepika Kumari so far has qualified for the Tokyo Games. The team of Deepika, Komalika Bari and Ankita Bhakat will thus have to raise their game to make the cut on Sunday.
In total, women from 30 countries will strive for the three and two quota places up for grabs. A top-three finish in the team event will fetch the maximum (3 archers) quota place.
The Indian trio reached Paris earlier than other archers and went through the scheduled quarantine in Vichy, about 400km from the venue Stade Charlety in Paris before getting down to practice.
The team will look to repeat their gold-winning show in the first stage of the World Cup in Guatemala in April. Deepika, who also won an individual gold in that event, will be guiding her younger teammates in this crucial challenge before they take part in the World Cup Stage III next week.
“We have to stay calm,” Deepika told TOI from Paris on Friday. “We must stay positive and confident.”
Talking about her role as the most experienced member, the Jharkhand archer said the team has gelled well and have developed a good rapport. “Both Ankita and Komalika are shooting well. That eases the pressure off me,” she said. “I have told them to focus on their own show rather than look at the opposition,” she added. (TNN)