Tokyo 2020: A look at India’s schedule on Day One!

Despite being a dominant force in World Cups and World Championships, India has never won a medal in archery at Olympics.

Tokyo 2020: A look at India’s schedule on Day One!
Indian archery team (Photo credit: Twitter/@worldarchery)

After a year of postponement due to COVID-19 pandemic, the Tokyo Olympics finally kicked-off on July 21 with events like softball and football leading the way. For India, the quest for medal in the quadrennial sporting event starts on Friday (July 23). Ahead of the much-awaited opening ceremony, Indian archers will line-up for individual ranking events, led by reigning world number Deepika Kumari and a medal prospect in Atanu Das.

In total, there are five events lined up in archery: men’s and women’s individual, men’s and women’s team, and mixed team event. But on Friday, the four-member Indian archery contingent will be in action in individual ranking rounds.

Deepika Kumari to lead India’s charge on Day One!

A lot of expectations rest on Deepika Kumari’s shoulders as she is one of the brightest prospect for India when it comes to winning a medal at Tokyo Olympics. Kumari, who is the reigning world number one in women’s archery is participating in her second Olympics Games. She first represent India in the quadrennial event in 2012 London Olympic.

The 27-year-old is in scintillating form having bagged a three gold medals at the Archery World cup stage 3 in Paris recently. Kumari will participate in women’s individual recurve round early on Friday morning.

Time: 5:30 am IST

Venue: Yumenoshima Park, Tokyo, Japan

Men’s Individual ranking round

Once the women’s event culminates, Atanu Das, Tarundeep Rai and Pravin Jadhav will be seen in action in men’s individual ranking round. All three Indian archers will represent India in the men’s recurve event.

Just like his wife Deepika Kumari, Atanu Das is one of India’s best bets to win a medal in this Olympics. The 29-year-old has been a vital cog in Indian archery team since making his debut in 2008. He bagged two gold medals in the recently concluded world cup and in total has seven world cup medals in his bag. The challenge for Das will be to translate his recent form and success into Olympic glory, one which he is highly capable of doing.

Tarundeep Rai will be participating in his third Olympic Games. At 37, Rai is the oldest and the most experienced archer in the Indian contingent. The 37-year-old is a two-time World Championships silver medallist and is expected to put in a solid performance in men’s recurve individual and men’s recurve team events in Tokyo Olympics.

While Rai is the oldest member in the Indian archery contingent, Pravin Jadhav is the youngest. The 25-year-old was the part of the Indian men’s team which won the silver medal in 2019 World Archery Championship. A lot is expected of Jadhav in men’s recurve team event, while the youngster has an outside chance of going the distance in individual recurve event.

Time: 9:30 am IST

Venue: Yumenoshima Park, Tokyo, Japan

Despite being a dominant force in World Cups and World Championships, India has never won a medal in archery at Olympics. For some reason, the Indian archers seem to get overwhelmed by the moment and have faded away in the quadrennial sporting event. This time around, the feel is different and there are high hopes from the Indian archers to overcome their Olympic hoodoo. For that to happen, the four Indian archers need to start strong in the ranking rounds on Friday.