Deepika Kumari Aims For London Olympics

Deepika Kumari, a young teenage girl from Jharkhand, wearing her trademark floppy hat, picking up modern-day bow and arrow, concentrating hard, aiming and shooting the target; all these in the midst of the vociferous Indian supporters present in the stadium.  She hit the bulls’ eyes, not once but twice. For her splendid efforts, she won two Gold Medals in the last years’ Common Wealth Games 2010, both in the Individual and Team Archery events respectively.

Deepika Kumari from Ranchi
Deepika Kumari from Ranchi

At that time, Deepika’s golden efforts during the CWG-2010 caught our nation’s imagination. Though for the sports-lovers of Jharkhand her great performance did not come as a surprise, we always knew about her innate potential. Since then, in various International Archery Competitions, Deepika has continued her good form; she has kept herself abreast with the world’s top archers.

Major International Archery Competition

Medals Won

Common Wealth Games, 2010 in Delhi, India

Gold Medals

Asian Games, 2010 in Guangzhou, China

Bronze Medal (Team)

Archery World Cup in Ogden, USA (August 2011)

Silver Medals (Team & Individual)

World Youth Archery Competition in Legnika, Poland (August 2011)

Gold Medal (Individual)

Life was not always hunky-dory for Deepika Kumari Mahto. She is born in a family with modest means, her mother Geeta Mahto works with State Health Department while her father Shiv Mahto is an auto-rickshaw driver. She along with her family used to live in Ratuchatti village located in the outskirt of Ranchi town. At that time, according to Deepika, her mother was unhappy with her decision to take up archery. She says, “I was the first even in the extended family to play any sport. My mother is conservative and was against my decision.” Yet she has never let such disadvantage positions and other obstacles to deter her or even to come in the way of her dreams. While she was still in school, she developed keen interest in Archery, and then her bond with Archery only grew stronger with each passing day. According to Deepika, the major stepping stone was the getting admission in an Archery Academy in Seraikela- Kharsawan and from there she moved onto Tata Steel Sports Academy in Jamshedpur. The coaching and other professional help available at the Academy helped her hone her archery skills.

Reminiscences on her past and her present, she is forthright, she says, “Archery has given me everything: money, fame and recognition. Now my entire family including my parents are proud of me.” In her message to the youth of our country, she states as a matter of fact, “I want youngsters, particularly girls; take to sports in a big way. Sport can be a good career option these days.” We are sure many more youngsters from Jharkhand would heed her advice and strive for excellence not only in the field of sports but also in other disciplines.

It is pertinent to share that Deepika competes in a much tougher form of Archery called Recurve event; in this the archers’ bow is without lens and the adjustable string. The Recurve needs Arjuna like archery qualities, for instance, sharp eyes to spot the target and sound technique to aim and shoot. And to develop Arjuna like qualities, Deepika trains hard and puts in long hours of practice. Her gruelling training-routine entails, shooting countless arrows from a distance of 70 metres; this has been going on for day in, day out for the last so many years; far away from crowd, aiming and shooting quietly in the solitude.

Her senior mentor and coach, Dola Banerjee shares few unknown facets of Deepika, she told, “Deepika is completely focussed on her goal. In fact she always carries coach’s diary with her that records her daily performance. This helps her to keep reviewing her performance on regular basis and look for ways to improve.” When Deepika was asked what makes her a winner, she credits her ability to concentrate over a long period of time besides her mental toughness.

Undoubtedly, she is a rare talent and epitomizes the real-high quality-stuff that separates the champions from the others. We all know that in the days to come, she would continue to push her for greater glory, even in the days to come. Her burning desire to succeed against all odds, this quality would certainly help her even in the fiercely competitive world of International Archery sports. With a little bit of luck and lots of hard work, she could even win medals at the upcoming London Olympic Games in 2012. And that would be culmination of her much cherished childhood dream; she has traveled long and winding road to reach here. We wish her tons of luck in her quest for an Olympic medal.

Team Focus

Team Focus

We are bunch of commoners and our bloggers' e-magazine focuses on the AlterNative Voices from Jharkhand, India.
Team Focus
Team Focus

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We are bunch of commoners and our bloggers' e-magazine focuses on the AlterNative Voices from Jharkhand, India.

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