Indian recurve archers enjoyed a splendid run at the recently concluded Stage 1 Archery World Cup, winning a total of four medals including three gold and one bronze in Guatemala.
The three gold medals came from Men's and Women's Individual Recurve, Women's Team Recurve, whilst solitary bronze came in the Mixed Team Recurve.
While the performances of veterans Deepika Kumari and Atanu Das stood out at Guatemala, a young and relatively inexperienced Ankita Bhakat matched them shot for shot on her way to two podium finishes – a gold in Women's Team Recurve and a bronze in Mixed Team Recurve.
Not owning Archery equipment
Hailing from the city of Kolkata in West Bengal, Ankita Bhakat is 22 years old. The left-handed archer's claim to fame came in the year 2017 when she bagged a gold medal in Mixed Recurve Team at the World Archery Youth Championships in Argentina.
Ankita took up archery at the Calcutta Archery Club aged just 10 after watching the sport being played at a local tournament in the city. Though her family never really restricted her from playing the sport, the financial struggles were aplenty.
Her father, Shantanu Bhakat, is a milkman; and with the cost of quality archery equipment in lakhs, Ankita did not own a bow and arrow set during the early part of her childhood and career.
Her life, though, changed for the better when she was noticed and selected by the Tata Archery Academy (TAA), Jamshedpur in the year 2014.
Getting her hands on the best coaching facilities and equipment at TAA, there has been no looking back for Ankita Bhakat who has established herself as one of the brightest young talents to watch out for in Indian archery.
She has since won medals at the 2015 Seoul Youth Archery Festa, 2017 World Archery Youth Championships, and had displayed commendable skills at the 2016 Indoor Archery World Cup where she finished as India's best archer ahead of Bombayla Devi and Deepika Kumari.