India eyes elusive medal at World Archery Para Championships
India's top para-archers, including Tokyo Paralympics bronze medallist Harvinder Singh, will return to action at the World Archery Para Championships
India's top para-archers, including Tokyo Paralympics bronze medallist Harvinder Singh, will return to action at the World Archery Para Championships that begins in Dubai on Wednesday. The nine-member Indian team arrived in dubai after a two-month training camp at the Sports Authority of India Centre in Sonipat and the archers are confident of a good show at the showpiece.
India has won medals in almost every single event since 2017, except in the World Championships. Harvinder won a gold in 2018 Asian Para Games and bronze in the Tokyo Paralympic Games. Harvinder, who turned his farm in Punjab's Ajitnagar into a target practice venue before winning a historic Paralympic bronze in Tokyo, is focused on getting his job done -- shooting a perfect score and returning home with the elusive medal.
"Like every other player here, I will be very happy to go back home with a medal. But right now, I am not thinking about this. The target is to shoot well this week. The result will follow," he said in a release. "There's a lot of excitement within the team as this is the first event after Tokyo Paralympics. This Championship is very important in terms of knowing where we stand right now. "As this is the start of the season, the event will also give a direction to our plans ahead," said Harvinder, who finished seventh and ninth in the last two Worlds.
Harvinder said he does not want to be under pressure by setting a target in the championships. "Mentally I am confident. But I don't want to be overconfident or be under pressure by setting any target in the championships. I want to just focus on shooting a good score. "That's what I did at the Paralympics and Asian Para Games also. I want to follow the same strategy -- stay calm, focused and shoot well," added the recurve men's open archer who will celebrate his 31st birthday in three days.
Compound open archers, including Paralympians Rakesh Kumar, Shyam Sundar Swami and Jyoti Baliyan, will open their campaign. National coach Kuldeep Kumar said that the team is the country's best bet for a medal at major championship. "We are eyeing the elusive World medal, the gold, this time. There's a lot of expectation from the archers, it's a very balanced team," Kumar said.
"We have Paralympic and Asian Para Games medallists, and World Ranking tournament medallists. The team has worked very hard for the last few months in all aspects of their game," said the coach. As many as 223 archers from 40 countries are competing at the championships, where 16 world titles are up for grabs.