The Fuyang Yinhu Sports Center will be hosting the archery competitions for the Asian Games 2023 from October 1 to 7. The schedule will include events in both the recurve and the non-Olympic compound disciplines.
With the exception of compound archer Abhishek Verma, the 2014 Incheon Games men's compound silver medalist, and former Olympian recurve archer Atanu Das, who are seasoned competitors, the Indian contingent boasts several young players who can help India's bid for archery medals in Hangzhou.
As the squad gears up for the 19th Asian Games, here’s a look at the potential medal winners at the mega event:
Aditi Gopichand Swami
Within a span of a month, Aditi went from being a World Archery Youth Champion to becoming the World Champion in the Women’s Individual Compound event.
The 17-year-old won the compound women's gold at the Hyundai World Archery Championships in Berlin in August of this year after defeating Mexico's Andrea Becerra and is a strong hope for the nation to add a second gold to India’s account in the mega event.
Aditi made history by becoming the youngest World Archery Champion in the World Cup era (2006 onwards), and she also won India's first-ever individual title at the 2023 Hyundai World Archery Championships.
Swami continued with her sparkling year, which included being a double youth world champion after taking home gold in both the individual and team competitions at the 2023 World Archery Youth Championships in Limerick in July.
In a nail-biting quarter final shootout, she defeated Sanne De Laat of the Netherlands. In the semifinals, she faced compound compatriot Jyothi Surekha Vennam, who was aiming for gold after having won bronze in 2019 and silver in 2021. On a day where she only lost four points, Swami was unstoppable. She recorded scores of 149 in both her semifinal and final games and shot four straight ends of 30 in the final.
Ojas Pravin Deotale
Hours after Aditi's triumph, 21-year-old Ojas won a historic compound men's gold medal while World No. 14 Prathmesh Jawkar took home silver at the Archery World Cup, completing a hat trick of world trophies for India.
Ojas shot a flawless 150 in the final to defeat Lukasz Przybylski of Poland by one point to win the individual world title for the first time ever. He started by dominating Przybylski's compatriot Przemyslaw Konecki in the quarterfinals before registering a one-point win against world number one Netherlands' Mike Schloesser.
Just one year prior to this victory, Ojas enrolled in the Drushti Archery Academy in Satara for advanced compound archery training. In just two months, during the junior India trials at Sonipat in September 2022, Ojas scored 1,423 and 1,427 out of 1,440, breaking Schloesser's 2014 junior world record of 1,419 points.
Later, Ojas shattered two more compound archery world records. Ojas made his senior India debut in December at the Asia Cup stage 3 in Sharjah, where he helped India win both the individual silver and the team gold medals.
Compound Archer Abhishek Verma bagged the gold medal at the third stage of the Archery World Cup 2023 in Medellin, Colombia, in June 2023.
In a tight final, the 33-year-old defeated the 2019 world champion James Lutz of the USA 148-146. This was the 33-year-old's first World Cup of the year. Abhishek Verma won his first individual gold medal since taking first place in Paris two years ago. It was his third individual gold medal overall in the Archery World Cup.
Earlier, Verma, seeded eighth, got the better of world No. 1 and top-seed Mike Schloesser of the Netherlands in a shoot-off after scores were tied 148-148 in the quarter-finals. He then beat Luccas Abreu of Brazil 148-143 in the semis to set up the final against No. 2 seed James Lutz. However, he narrowly missed earning a medal as he was placed fourth at the World Cup.
Jyothi Surekha Vennam
The 27-year-old Arjuna Awardee from Vijayawada got the 2023 season off to a terrific start by matching the qualifying score (713) at the Archery World Cup Stage I 2023. During the 2015 Colombian National Selections, she matched Sara Lopez's 713-point World Record.
She defeated Lopez, the holder of the world record in the women's individual compound event, in the final (149-146), earning her first gold medal. Jyoti swiftly triumphed over World No. 1 Ella Gibson to advance to the final to secure a spot in the summit match.
Jyothi won a number of silver and bronze medals at the World Championships over the years, but in 2023 she finally broke the tie and won her first gold medal. Jyothi Surekha Vennam, Parneet Kaur, and Aditi Gopichand's women's team defeated top-seeded Mexico to win the gold medal.
History & Standings
Ever since 1978, when the sport was first introduced in the Asian Games, India has earned quite a name in the world of Archery.
Since its inception, Indian archers have managed to clinch 10 medals (1 gold, 4 silver, 5 bronze) across the two formats- Compound and Recurve.
India is currently in fifth place overall in the games' archery medal standings, trailing Chinese Taipei, China, Korean Taipei, and Japan. The first one came in 2006 in Doha when the men’s recurve team consisting Mangal Singh Champia, Tarundeep Rai, Jayanta Talukdar and Vishwas won a bronze. Our sole gold came at the 2014 Incheon games, when Rajat Chauhan, Sandeep Kumar, Abhishek Verma won the team compound event.
At the 2018 edition of the Asian Games in Jakarta, India won silver medals in both the men’s team compound and women’s team compound.
A Look At The Opponents
India has of late been one of the strongest teams in compound archery and are placed first in the compound mixed team competition and second in both the men's and women's events. In compound archery, China Taipei and Korea are the other top rivals, but India, too, is a potent competitor.
In the recurve discipline, where Indians rank substantially lower than average among individuals, competition is anticipated to be much tougher. Koreans are the dominant opponents, despite the fact that Dhiraj Bommadevara just defeated top-ranked Kim Woojin at the World Cup finals. Also quite powerful are China, Taiwan, and Japan.
Although both the Indian men's and women's teams are among the top ten in the world, the competition is likely to be fierce, especially in the men's division. No male of female Indian is among the top 15 recurve archers in the world rankings.