Shrine Board Archers Sarita, Rakesh win first-ever gold for India

Indian compound Archers Sarita and Rakesh Kumar posing for photograph at Pilsen during World Archery Para Championship.
Indian compound Archers Sarita and Rakesh Kumar posing for photograph at Pilsen during World Archery Para Championship.

World Archery Para Championships

Ranjit Thakur
JAMMU, July 23: The three Archers of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, Sports Complex, Katra have created history by winning one Gold, one Silver and one Bronze medal in Pilsen 2023 World Archery Para Championships.
The Indian compound archers Sarita and Rakesh Kumar gave a fine performance to claim the country’s first-ever gold medal in the World Archery Para Championships in Pilsen, Czech Republic.
Sarita and Rakesh defeated Brazil’s Jane Gogel and Reinaldo Ferreira 152-146 in the final. The match began with both sides sharing honours (37-37) in the first end. The Indians showed consistency to take the next three ends 37-36, 39-38, 39-35.
While 16-year-old armless archer Sheetal Devi of Jammu and Kashmir’s mountainous district Kishtwar bagged the compound women’s individual silver medal. Sarita bagged a second medal when she took the women’s team bronze with Jyoti.
The country’s previous best showing was two silver medals by Pooja in recurve individual event and Shyam Sundar Swami and Jyoti in compound mixed team in Dubai last year.
Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha has extended his congratulations to the Para-Archers for their outstanding performance in the World Archery Para Championships.
Office of the LG-J&K, tweeted, “Congratulations to para archery stars Sarita, Rakesh & Sheetal on their spectacular performance at Pilsen World Para Archery Championships 2023!  You’ve made the nation proud! Your achievements will inspire the aspiring athletes.”
Speaking exclusively to Excelsior on phone from Pilsen, Rakesh said, “We are pleased with our performance here, despite different weather conditions, we have won medals here. We had practiced hard in different camps across India and in Shrine Board complex Katra in the last few months and now the results are here.”
“Shrine Board, Archery Association of Jammu and Kashmir and Sports Authority of India have played a crucial role in our success, they provided us with the best facilities and opportunities resulting in the best we are doing in the world now,” he added.
Kuldeep praised Sheetal Devi’s performance, acknowledging that while she is already doing a great job, she still lacks the necessary experience and exposure to international events. However, he expressed confidence that with time, she will improve and contribute her best for the country. Additionally, Kuldeep mentioned that the Para-Archery team of India is expected to arrive in India on 25th July.
Nuzhat Gull, Sports Council Secretary, expressed her immense joy over the remarkable success of archers who clinched the gold medal in the World Archery Para Championships. She further highlighted that sportsmen from Jammu and Kashmir have been excelling in recent years and are at the top of their game in the country.
She told Excelsior, “In recent times we have provided immense opportunities for youngsters of Jammu and Kashmir to showcase their skills by opening new Khelo India Centres in different parts of the Union Territory and by organizing different sporting events and improving infrastructure at the grass root level. She said despite facing a staff shortage of 50 percent, the outcome can now be observed with the remarkable achievements of youngsters in all fields.”