Saturday, May 26, 2018

Vennam Jyothi Surekha team win silver and bronze at Archery World Cup

Jyothi Surekha Vennam was instrumental in India's compound team clinching two medals at the Archery World Cup.

It’s been an eventful year so far for Jyothi Surekha Vennam, one of India’s best compound archers. Last month, she teamed up with Abhishek Verma to win bronze at the Archery World Cup (Stage 1) in Shanghai. Barely two weeks later, she announced that she would go on an indefinite hunger strike in her hometown Vijayawada, due to the alleged delay in payment of Rs 1 crore promised to her by the Andhra Pradesh government, after she received the Arjuna Award for 2017. The 21-year-old, however, called off the strike after receiving assurances from government officials. The off-field distraction did little to dampen Jyothi’s spirits though, especially in the run-up to the ongoing World Cup (Stage 2) in Antalya.

The young archer continued her impressive form and found the cool and windy climes in Antalya much to her liking. Consequently, she was instrumental in India’s compound team clinching two medals at the showpiece event at this pristine beachside town. First up on Friday, she combined with Divya Dhayal and Muskan Kirar to win silver in the women’s team event. They went down to Chinese Taipei 228-231 in a close final.

Jiwanjot Singh, the coach of the compound team told that Jyothi’s role in the middle was crucial. “Her presence definitely helped, because others were relatively inexperienced, while Jyothi was in good form and had won a medal for us at the last World Cup. So, she knew what was expected from her in this important match.”

Winning these medals will not be the only takeaways for Jyothi. On a personal level, she also broke the individual national record during the qualification round, where she scored a stunning 706 (out of 720).

In doing so, she even bettered the personal best of Abhishek Verma’s 705 he had achieved in this tournament. “She was off to a phenomenal start here. Her personal best put her in second spot in the individual rankings,” Singh said. From winning three medals from the two World Cups, breaking the individual national record, and then climbing to the second spot in rankings, 2018 just keeps getting better for the archer from Vijayawada. Her team will be hoping that she carries this form into the Asian Games, which begins in over two months.

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