Out of action since the Tokyo Olympics, Indian archer Deepika Kumari is set to make a comeback in the upcoming Stage 3 of the World Cup beginning in Paris on Tuesday.
Also returning to action is star compound archer Jyothi Surekha Vennam.
Deepika, the 28-year-old, had won an individual gold medal in this tournament in 2021 and returned to the world No 1 spot before the Olympics. But she couldn’t win a medal in Tokyo and at the start of 2022, she was dropped from the Indian squad for the Asian Games and first couple of World Cups.
But with the tournament getting postponed, Archery Association of India conducted a fresh trial of the top-eight archers for the Stage 3 of the World Cup and Deepika ended up making the cut, reported PTI.
“I’m happy I’m back in the team,” Deepika was quoted as saying by World Archery. “Every competition is different, every situation is different. But yes, I am excited to play for my country again.”
She added: “There was so much going on in those six to seven months. After that, I lost my confidence and was out of the team. I’ve been working hard now for two or three months.”
Deepika was last seen in action for India in the Yankton World Cup Final in September 2021 where she finished fourth.
The compound section also saw the return of World Championships silver medalist Jyothi, who also hadn’t made the Asian Cup contingent earlier this year.
World No 3 Jyothi last competed at the Dhaka Asian Championships in November last year where she won an individual gold. She returned in place of Raginee Makoo.
Sangampreet Bisla too made a comeback, edging out veteran Rajat Chauhan in the compound squad.
The compound qualifications take place on Tuesday, while the recurve qualification round will happen on Wednesday.
Recurve Men: Tarundeep Rai, Jayanta Talukdar, Pravin Jadhav and Neeraj Chauhan.
Recurve Women: Deepika Kumari, Ankita Bhakat, Ridhi Phor and Simranjeet Kaur.
Compound Men: Abhishek Verma, Aman Saini, Mohan Bhardwaj and Sangampreet Bisla.
Compound Women: Jyothi Surekha Vennam, Priya Gurjar, Avneet Kaur and Muskan Kirar.