Sachin Gupta, a comfortable winner over favourite and fellow Army Sports Institute-trainee B Dhiraj (Andhra Pradesh), and Paras Hooda won the boys Under-21 and Under-17 recurve golds to lift Haryana to the top of the medals charts in the archery competition in the Khelo India Youth Games 2019 at the Army Sports Institute here today.
Haryana finished with a total of seven medals, including two silver and three bronze. The 13-year-old Paras Hooda, who got to pick up a bow only a year and a half ago, showed mental toughness to come back from 2-4 down to beat team-mate Rahul by winning the last two sets. Son of a Rohtak school principal, he is drawn and driven by archery.
Sachin Gupta took to the sport when in a Gurugram school because he thought archery was unique. He moved into paying guest accommodation near Delhi’s Yamuna Vihar Sports Complex to train with coaches Lokesh and Ravinder. He was picked by ASI scouts a year and a half ago and hopes to draw from his seniors in the Indian side to help recurve archery regain lost ground.
Maharashtra’s Sakshi Shitole and Isha Ketan Pawar, both trainees of coach Ranjit Chamle at the Archers Academy in Pune, won the girls Under-21 recurve and girls Under-17 compound gold medals to help the home state take the second spot with four medals, including a silver and a bronze.
Daughter of a farmer who also has a furniture shop, 18-year-old Sakshi has trained her sights on the Olympic Games. “I was confident that I would win gold here, having beaten each girl in the competition sometime or the other. I did not shoot the qualification round as well as I wanted to but I know I could put that behind me,” she said.
Jharkhand’s Anita Kumari scored a thrilling one-point victory over Asian Games silver medallist Muskan Kirar (Madhya Pradesh) in the girls Under-21 compound final. Muskan was still dealing with shoulder muscle spasms and showed stomach for a battle. With Komolika Bari taking gold ahead of team-mate Shaniya Sharma, Jharkhand finished with two gold and a silver.
Another Asian Games athlete, Punjab’s Sangampreet Singh (boys under-21 compound) and Delhi’s Ritik Chahal (boys under-17 compound) were the other gold medal winners today as the curtains came down on the archery competition at KIYG 2019.
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