PANAJI: Simranjot Singh of Punjab and Sakshi Chaudhary of Uttar Pradesh were crowned the men’s and women’s champions respectively in the Compound Round individual competition here at the 42nd NTPC Junior National Archery Championship 2022 in progress at SAG ground, Campal. Delhi and Rajasthan reigned supreme in the men’s and women’s team events respectively while Maharashtra clinched the Mixed-team title.
The Compound round, which concluded on Tuesday, saw exciting action particularly in the men’s final as Punjab’s Simranjot, who was ranked way down at 33rd position, turned the tussle on its head in the final set to stun 14th-ranked GR Shriram of Tamil Nadu 145-144. Trailing 115-118 after four sets of three arrows each, Simranjot started with a 10 while GR Shriram choked and shot an 8. Simranjot performed superbly under pressure with two consecutive 10s while Shriram just couldn’t recover and struck 9 and 9 in the fifth and final set to lose the gold medal from a winning position. Maharashtra’s Prathamesh Jawkar, who was ranked second in the qualification round with 704 points, won the bronze medal by beating 5th-ranked Kushal Dalal of Haryana 145-144.
In the women’s final, Sakshi Chaudhary got the better of world record holder Priya Gurjar of Rajasthan, who emerged women’s team champions while their mixed team bagged a silver medal. In a tight final contest, Sakshi prevailed 143-142 as Priya suffered a wobble to shoot 10,9,9 in the final set while her opponent from UP delivered a perfect 10,10,10 to gain the maximum of 30 points from the three arrows. The bronze medal in the women’s section went to Maharashtra’s Aditi Gopichand Swami, who defeated Somanshi Medatwal of Rajasthan, with ease. In the Mixed team competition, Punjab team of Harnoor Singh and Parneet Kaur won the bronze medal, by beating Delhi 156-155.
In the upset of the competition, National Games gold-medallist Rishabh Yadav of Haryana topped the qualification stage (50+50 metres) with 711 points but he was shocked in the individual competition by eventual champion Simranjot Singh 145-144 in the 1/16 Elimination round. Rishabh had shot a perfect score of a maximum 150 points in the 1/32 elimination round against Kerala’s 64th-ranked Viswajith R before crashing out of the Olympic round medal race in the Round-of-32.
In the women’s qualification stage, Priya Gurjar bagged the gold medal with 696 points. Sakshi (695) and Aditi (685) were placed second and third.
Meanwhile, there was more encouragement in store for Goan archery as Yatin Kaushik made it to the 1/32 stage and then 1/16 round as he defeated Jharkhand’s Ashish Kumar Singh 140-138. Then in the last-32 match, Yatin went down fighting to 3rd ranked Ritik Chahal of Delhi 141-138.
Showing outstanding determination, Jammu and Kashmir’s Sheetal Devi, the phenomenal arm-less archer went down fighting in the 1/32 elimination round against Varenya Rana of Uttar Pradesh. Sheetal, ranked 56th, lost by the narrowest of the margins to 9th-ranked Varenya 140-141.
Organisers of the ongoing 42nd NTPC Junior National Archery Championship, Amateur Archery Association Goa felicitated Sheetal Devi and her coach Kuldeep Vedwan, who is also India para-archery team’s coach, for their exemplary efforts in development of archery in line with inclusion mission necessary to assimilate persons with disabilities into the mainstream society.
Vasco MLA, Daji Salkar and other dignitaries presented the medals to bring down the curtains on the Compound round. After a day’s break on Wednesday, the national championship will switch to the Indian round over two days on Thursday and Friday.