India has had reason to be proud in archery with Deepika Kumari having reigned as number and in constant pursuit of new benchmarks. We have a history to reckon with. If you look out in our mythological stories such as Ramayana and Mahabharata, you’ll find almost everyone there effortlessly being an archer and aiming for the goal. It’s that legacy this sport carries forward in modern India. And women have been at the lead of this journey.
Let’s check out 5 top Indian women in archery:
Deepika Kumari: Indian female sportswomen, archer Deepika Kumari is currently ranked number seven and a former world number one. 21 year old Kumari got her first breakthrough back in 2005, admitted at the Arjun Archery Academy, and then in 2006 she decided to join the Tata Archery Academy in Jamshedpur. The institute trained her in the best way and Kumari announced herself to the world, after winning the Junior Compound World Cup.
India’s Olympic hope, Kumari’s outstanding performance had gave her at the Archery World Cups, winning three consecutive silver medals. The archer was honored with the Arjuna Award – India’s second highest sporting award, in 2012. The Government of India also crowned her with the country’s civilian honor, Padma Shri in 2016.
Dola Banerjee: Indian Archer, Dola Banerjee is considered to be one of the best female Archers India has as she is been credited the honor of being the first female Archer who has been bestowed upon the Arjuna Award. Even she is the first Indian woman archer to qualify for the Olympics.
Hails from West Bengal, Dola won her first National Championship title in Archery in the year. She began playing at the International level at the age of 17 years when she participated at Longkwie Asian Championship 1997. She further played at the Beijing Asian Championship 1999, Hong Kong Asian Championship 2001, Yangon (Myanmar) Asian Championship 2003 and New Delhi Asian Championship 2005 where the Indian team grabbed a Bronze Medal.
Dola created a history of sorts in the year 2005 when she won the Gold Medal at European Grand Prix Archery tournament and the Golden Arrow Grand Prix Archery tournament, Antalya, Turkey in the same year. Apart from it, she also won the Gold Medal at the Colombo SAF Games 2006.
Bombayla Devi Laishram: Hailing from Manipur, this Indian archer started playing archery in 1996 and became the member of the Indian team a decade after in 2006. Her moment of pride came when she won gold at the recurve team event in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. Bombayla, started the game of archery at a very tender age since she belongs to family of sports lovers in Imphal. Her mother M Jamini Devi, a state archery coach, introduced her to the sport while her father Manglem Singh is a handball coach.
She represented India at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the women’s individual as well as team events and representing India at the Olympics for the second time in a row. She became the first women to qualify for the Beijing Olympics after a brilliant performance at the 2007 World Archery Championship at Leipzig in Germany.
The Indian women’s recurve archery team of L Bombayla Devi, Deepika Kumari and Chekrovolu Swuro earned three quota places for the London Games when they won a silver medal at the 46th World Archery Championship in Turin, Italy in July 2011.
Chekrovolu Swuro: Hailing from a small village of Nagaland, this Indian archer represented India in archery in the 2002 Asian Games and 2006 Asian Games held at different parts of the world.
She serves as an Assistant Sub-Inspector in the Nagaland Police. Her elder sister, Vesuzolu S.Vadeo, was a former national archer. She has been competing at the international level for more than a decade, during which she has won many medals. She also represented India at the 2012 London Olympic Games, and she is the second Naga athlete to participate in the Olympics after a gap of 64 years
Leaving a message for the youths of Nagaland, she was crowned Arjuna award in 2013.
Laxmi Rani Majhi: A schoolgirl got a chance to be selected to train as an archer. Now she competes in international level competitions for India. When Laxmi was young, her family knew the most important thing was for Laxmi to go to school; many girls in Laxmi’s village did not go to school.
Now, while completing her education, Laxmi has won so many archery competitions and has been awarded the position of a cadet by the Tata Sports Academy, in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand.
Laxmi’s first chance to become an archer was offered to her when the selectors for the archery academy visited her Government School. Grew up in Bagula village, Jharkhand, she is a recurve archer. She competed in the individual recurve event and the team recurve event where she won the silver medal at the 2015 World Archery Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark.