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Cycling 18 kms daily, Komalika Bari reaches world archery title as second Indian woman

Cycling 18 kms daily from Birsanagar-based home to Tata Archery Academy (TAA) has propelled 17-year-old Komalika Bari to India’s second only woman world champion in World Youth Archery & Cadet Championship-2019 in Madrid (Spain) on Sunday night, coinciding with P V Sindu becoming first Indian to win World Badminton Championship.

“I am feeling exalted being a world champion, however, it was not easy. It’s been long hard work and it was very important for me to win to believe in my capabilities that I belong to top level. My coaches Sushanto Patro, Dharemndra Tiwari, Purnima Mahato Anil Kumar and Bikash Upadhyay all helped me a lot,” Komalika said from her Madrid hotel in a WhatsApp recorded messages on Monday.

The gold came at the time when this championship would be the last international championship after which World Archery Federation (WAF) ban on Archery Association of India (AAI) will come into effect.

“It all happened within two and half years but the first year went in learning the basics. I achieved some successes in the second year but not enough. But when you opt for recurve the objective is to play at international level. I had played in the Indian round earlier. I had joined TAA with the single motto to play at international level and achieve top level success,” she said.

Komalika and the Indian team left Madrid around 3 pm on Monday and are likely to reach India by 11 am on Tuesday morning. She had joined TAA in 2016 after Sushanto Patro spotted her extraordinary talent in summer archery camp here by Indian Steel Wire Products (ISWP).

“Shushanto Sir was my first coach and later TAA chief coach Purnima Didi, Dharmendra Sir, Anil Sir, Bikash Sir helped me hone my skills. This is the only factor how I graduated to the international level in just little over two years. My father Ghanshyam Bari and Mother Laxmi Bari also stood my all along,” added Komalika.

TAA cadet Komalika on Sunday created history by winning Gold medal in the women’s under-18 cadet recurve category in World Archery Youth & Cadet Champiosnhip-2019 in Spain, held in Madrid from August 19-25. She defeated Waka Sonoda by a margin of 7-3, bringing laurels to the country, Jharkhand and TAA.

Komalika became India’s second woman archer (recurve cadet) world champion after Deepika Kumari, also a former TAA cadet who had won the title in 2009. Paltan Hansda from Seraikela-Kharsawan district of Jharkhand is the only other youth world archery champion who did the feat in 2006.

“She has made us all proud. She learnt it so fast – just in two and half years. She is a natural athlete and has the potential to be in the big league but still has a long way to go. Its sheer hard work, focus and determination from hereon for her to translate her inherent talent and dream into reality,” said Purnima Mahato, an ace archer herself and 2013 Dronacharya awardee.

Komalika’s father Ghanashyam Bari said they passed through difficult times when she started archery.

“We didn’t have money to buy her archery equipment and sold a part of our house in Birsanagar to buy her the equipment. Hard work has brought her this success but she needs to continue performing to reach the top. Tata she used to cycling 18 kms daily from our Birsanagar home to Tata Archery Academy (TAA), which is nine kilometre away,” said Ghanashyam Bari.


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