Berlin Ball: Satara’s Aditi Becomes Youngest Ever World Champ At 17

Ojas Deotale of Nagpur takes men’s compound archery crown

Aditi Swami

 After the exploits of the women’s team, it was time for huge individual honours for India at the World Archery Championships. On Saturday in Berlin, Aditi Swami, all of 17, became the youngest-ever senior world champion by winning the women’s compound gold.  

Shooting a near perfect score of 149 out of a possible 150, she outlasted Andrea Becerra of Mexico by two points.

In the process, Aditi secured India's first-ever individual title at the world championships.

Compound, however, is not an Olympic discipline.

The men’s compound title also went the way of India, as Ojas Deotale from Nagpur won the title with a perfect score of 150. 

Both Aditi and Ojas train at the same academy in Satara. Pravin Sawant is their coach. 

India finished the tournament with their best ever finish at the tournament - three gold and one bronze.

In a nail-biting finish, Deotale kept his cool and edged Lukasz Przybylski of Poland by one point. 

India, however, will be concerned by the barren returns of the recurve archers, as it is an Olympic discipline.

"I was just focused on winning the first gold for the country," Aditi told PTI. "I knew she (Becerra) was very experienced and someone whom I grew up watching and idolising but I just kept my focus on my shooting, the rest just fell in place.

"I am very proud, I wanted to hear the 52 seconds of the national anthem to be played at the World Championships. This is just the start. We have the Asian Games coming up, I want to win gold for the country and continue to win team gold for the country.

"It is really great that at 17, I could become the world champion. I want to thank all my supporters and everyone in India who helped me become the world champion."

Archery Association of India secretary general Pramod Chandurkar said, "It's no fluke and a result of strong team work, focus on sports science and 100 per cent faith on our technical team. We are expecting at least four medals from the Asian Games. It's a big moment for Indian archery."