The Olympic-bound husband-wife duo of Atanu Das and Deepika Kumari did not get a chance to enjoy their honeymoon after getting married during the lockdown period last year. But they decided to celebrate it in style this year by winning individual gold medals in their respective recurve categories in the Archery World Cup Stage I at Sports Complex Los Arcos in Guatemala City.
Both actually finished with two medals each as India ended with four medals.
Deepika pouched her first gold when she teamed up with Ankita Bhakat and Komalika Bari to get the better of Mexico in the women’s recurve team summit clash with India winning 5-4.
Her husband followed that up an hour later with a bronze medal in the mixed team event. The duo of Atanu and Ankita Bhakat humbled their US counterparts 6-2.
In the individual event, former world number one Deepika, seeded third, won her third career-stage victory, prevailing in an intense shoot-off to edge out USA’s eighth seed Mackenzie Brown 6-5 in the final. Earlier in the semifinal she defeated Mexico’s Alejandra Valencia 7-3.
A little later she watched her husband make a great comeback trailing 2-4 after three sets in the final against Spain’s Daniel Castro. However, Atanu finished off things in style winning the next two sets to seal the tie 6-4.
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“It’s beautiful. It’s a big boost for me,” Atanu said after claiming his maiden individual World Cup medal.
“The Olympics are this year, and I’m working in the right direction.” The Kolkata boy’s previous best in the individual section has been a fourth place finish in Antalya-2016.
The women’s trio’s gold was India’s fifth top finish in the World Cup women’s team event having previously won in Shanghai 2011, Medellin 2013 and Wroclaw in 2013 and 14.
“It’s very important for us to perform well here because we have to qualify for the Olympics,” Deepika said. “We want to handle the pressure, and this has helped.”
The Indian women will now look to earn a team Olympic quota in the final qualification event in Paris from June 18-21.
Written By- Archie Little, He is a sports journalist for the last two decades who has worked with almost all the leading media houses of the country.