The Archery World Cup season begins with the first stage being held in Antalya, Turkey from April 18 to 23. The winners in the 12 events across men’s and women’s categories will directly qualify for the World Cup Finals which will be held in Hermosillo, Mexico on September 9-10.
World ranking points are also at stake which would be crucial as recurve archers look to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Atanu Das makes a comeback on the international stage but his wife and former world No 1 Deepika Kumari, and compound archer Abhishek Verma haven’t found a place in India’s 16-member squad for the World Cup.
Das, who missed the cut for the Indian team last year, made it to the squad after finishing second in the recurve trials held in Sonepat, Haryana in February.
Kumari, who gave birth in December, also took part in the trials but finished in ninth place. Verma, who won men’s team gold in Antalya and Gwangju as well as mixed team gold in Paris with Jyoti Surekha Vennam, did not make the cut after finishing fifth at the trials.
The men’s recurve team is a mix of youth and experience featuring 21-year-old Dhiraj Bommadevara, 20-year-old Neeraj Chauhan along with veterans Das and Tarundeep Rai.
The women’s recurve team is led by world No 80 Ankita Bhakat and features Simranjeet Kaur, Aditi Jaiswal and 17-year-old Bhajan Kaur.
World No 11 Jyothi Surekha Vennam leads the women’s compound team. Vennam had been relegated to India’s reserve team last year at the trials but made a triumphant return by winning the mixed event gold and individual silver medal at the Paris World Cup along with adding a World Games bronze medal to her collection.
Avneet Kaur, mixed team and women’s team bronze medallist at the Gwangju World Cup, is also in the compound team. Sakshi Chaudhary, who won two individual Asia Cup gold medals last year, has made the cut as has the 16-year-old Aditi Gopichand Swami.
The experienced Rajat Chauhan, who won men’s team gold in Antalya and Gwangju, leads a young men’s compound team featuring 19-year-old Prathamesh Jawkar, and two 20-year-olds in Ojas Deotale and Rishabh Yadav.
Archery World Cup stage 1 Antalya schedule
Tuesday 18 April: Compound qualifying
Wednesday 19 April: Recurve qualifying
Thursday 20 April: Compound eliminations
Friday 21 April: Recurve eliminations
Saturday 22 April: Compound finals
Sunday 23 April: Recurve finals