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India’s Deepika regains world number one rank with triple gold in Paris archery meet

Paris, June 28 (MNN) India’s Deepika Kumari won a total of three gold medals at the third stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup here to again become the world number one in global rankings.

Deepika, till now world number three, beat Russia’s Elena Osipova on Sunday afternoon (local time) in the recurve women’s event in straight sets to capture her third title alongside women’s and mixed team titles she won earlier in the day, the World Archery Federation said.

The 27-year-old from Ranchi had achieved the top spot for the first time in 2012. Overall, she has nine gold, 12 silver and seven bronze medals in the World Cup.

“I’m happy, but at the same time I have to continue my performance like this,” Kumari said.

“I want to improve that, because the upcoming tournament is very, very important to us. I’m trying my best to continue learning whatever I can.”

The upcoming tournament, of course, is the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, which are less than a month away.

Kumari will represent India as the lone female archer in Japan, joining a full men’s team as they strive to win the country’s first archery medal at the world’s biggest sporting event.

Her performance at the Charlety Stadium arena here suggests that she will be a medal contender in Japan.

Kumari beat Mexico’s Ana Vazquez in the semifinals, 6-2, in a rematch of the team final that saw India beat Mexico in the first match of the morning, and swept Osipova by hitting a dead-centre 10 to win her fourth-career individual gold on the international circuit.

Kumari secured an automatic bid to the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final with her first-place finish at stage one in Guatemala City at the beginning of the season. With her victory in Paris, a fourth points slot will open up for an archer to compete in the season finale in September.

US archer Mackenzie Brown, who won bronze, will still make that event in Yankton on points despite finishing third. The soon-to-be-two-time Olympian held a, 5-1, lead over Osipova in their semifinal, but the Russian clawed back and won a tiebreak, along with the right to face Kumari in the final.

Deepika has won on the international circuit before, and she is expected to be named world number one when the new ranking list is released on Monday.

But it’s a medal in Tokyo that she craves.

“It’s very important,” Kumari said. “Our country, in archery… it doesn’t have any Olympic medals. It’s very important to win Olympic medals, so it’s very important to me.”

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