Commonwealth Games gold medallist and former World No. 1 Deepika Kumari feels Indian women archers face a daunting task of securing the full quota for next year’s Olympics owing to the cancellation of planned tournaments in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Indians have just one tournament left to qualify for Tokyo and two spots to earn.
Talking on Indian paddler Mudit Dani’s online chat show In The Sportlight, Deepika said that the country’s female archers had worked hard and were confident of securing the quota ahead of the COVID-19 lockdown.
“We were completely blanked as qualifiers were in a month’s time when the lockdown happened, our practice was going really well but then suddenly we had no idea what to do,” she said.
“Right now, we only have one quota spot in the women’s category and only one qualifier is left to secure the two other quota places. Normally we always secure a full quota by this period, but it is different this time around.”
After failing to secure the team quota at the World Championships in June last year, the Indian women’s archery team will have its last shot to secure the full Olympics quota in Paris, as a separate tournament is planned ahead of the World Cup in June next year.
Deepika, who’s currently the country’s only woman archer to have secured a spot at the Tokyo Games, also recalled that despite being a two-time Olympian, she has never been part of an Olympics opening ceremony.
“In archery our ranking begins on the same day as the opening ceremony. So we feel sad that I have never been to any opening ceremony and have only watched it on TV,” she said.