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Olympics Biggest Stage, But Happy To Win All Compound Archery Gold Medals: Jyothi

India’s ace archer Jyothi Surekha Vennam swept all three compound gold medals on offer at the Shanghai World Cup, and is backing Deepika Kumari to qualify for her fourth Olympics

India won mixed team gold at Shanghai Archery World Cup, April 2024, SAI Media photo
Jyothi Surekha Vennam (third from right) won the compound women's, individual and mixed team gold medals at the Archery World Cup Stage 1 in Shanghai. Photo: SAI Media

Though compound archery is yet to make its debut at the Summer Olympics, Jyothi Surekha Vennam remains in a breezy mind space. Although the ace Indian archer rues the hard truth of her discipline being a non-Olympic one, the triple gold medallist from the Archery World Cup Stage 1 in Shanghai is glad to have bagged every possible gold medal the event had to offer. (More Sports News)

“I’m happy to win three gold. Not only for me but for the entire compound team who bagged four gold and one silver. We are extremely happy as a team,” said Jyothi, who has been smashing records ever since she began competing at the global arena in 2011.

The 27-year-old Andhra girl is an Arjuna awardee and continues to get assistance from the Khelo India scholarship scheme. She currently trains in Sports Authority of India’s national centre of excellence in Sonepat, and spoke to SAI Media after her splendid show in Shanghai.

“We all feel compound archery should be in Olympics because we have a big chance. We waited with bated breath last year when it was being discussed whether to get it included at the 2028 Olympics. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen.

“For me personally, at the back of my head I know that the Olympics is the biggest thing in the world of sports and winning a medal there will add further glory to my career. But I would say that I’m content to have won medals in all international competitions possible in compound archery,” said Jyothi.

The talented athlete meanwhile hopes that the recurve team finally gets the job done at Paris Olympic Games 2024. “I’m really hoping the recurve archers get the medal this time at the Olympics. So far, we have got only one quota [bagged by Dhiraj Bommadevara in men’s recurve event] but there are more qualifiers coming up for Paris 2024,” she added.

Jyothi won a hat-trick of gold medals in Shanghai in the women’s compound team, mixed compound team and the individual compound categories. Such a feat was earlier achieved by Indian archery titan Deepika Kumari in 2021 at the (recurve) Archery World Cup Stage 3 Paris.

The archers are also supported by NTPC under CSR partnership through SAI. NTPC will be providing a support of INR 115 crore over a period of five years.

The Shanghai performance has reflected India’s mental conditioning and preparation for global events. In top events like the Olympics, Indians have been prone to mental frailties in pressure situations in the past.

“When you perform well and get the results, confidence build up happens naturally and mentally, you become stronger. It reflects the way you are. And we are in this state now. We are putting consistent hard work even beyond winning medals,” said the B. Tech graduate.

Speaking about her senior counterpart and three-time Olympian Deepika Kumari, Jyothi said, “Deepika di has always been a good archer and has a lot of achievements. To be back in the team representing India and reaching the top 4 in the ongoing World Cup is really great. I’m sure she will do really well as long as she keeps playing the sport.”

Deepika, on a comeback, bagged the individual recurve silver in Shanghai.