Deepika Kumari, the Indian recurve archer, topped the selection trials for the upcoming Archery World Cup stages in the national trials held in Sonepat on Sunday.

The trials were held to settle on a squad for the first two stages of the Archery World Cup and narrow down on a provisional squad for the upcoming 2024 Olympics in Paris, France.

The first stage will be held in Shanghai, China between April 23-28 and the second stage will be held in Yecheon, South Korea between May 21-26.

The three-time Olympian had taken a break from competing internationally after becoming a mother and returned to competitive archery at the National Games in 2023, where she won medals in both individual and team events for her state Jharkhand.

In her first international event since the maternity break, Kumari beat compatriot Simranjeet Kaur in an all-Indian final to secure gold in the individual event at the Asia Cup Stage 1 in Baghdad, Iraq.

Overall, 16 archers were selected across compound and recurve archery – with Kumari, Asian Games team bronze medallists Bhajan Kaur and Ankita Bhakat, along with Komalika Bari, also making the cut.

The men’s recurve squad will feature Dhiraj Bommadevara, the only Indian archer to have secured a quota place for Paris 2024 so far. Alongside him, Olympian Tarundeep Rai, Pravin Jadhav and Mrinal Chauhan will also feature in the squad.

According to performance director Sanjeeva Singh’s statement to the Press Trust of India, the Olympic squad will be adjusted according to the performances of the teams in the first two stages of the World Cup.

To secure team quota places for the Olympics, the Indian teams need to finish in the top three (men) or top four (women) at the final qualifying event – the World Cup Stage 3 in Antalya between June 18-23.

Should they fail to do so, if they are among the top two unqualified teams in the Archery World rankings after the event, they will secure qualification for the Olympics.

Currently, both Indians teams are in a good position to secure qualification – the Indian men’s team are ranked third, behind leaders South Korea (who have already qualified) and China (who are yet to qualify). The Indian women’s team are eighth in the rankings, but four teams above them have already secured qualification.

The Indian compound archery squad will feature world champion Aditi Gopichand Swami, Asian Games gold medallist Jyothi Surekha Vennam in the women’s team and veteran Abhishek Verma in the men’s team.

Indian teams for the Archery World Cup Stage 1 and 2

Men’s compound: Prathamesh Fuge, Abhishek Verma, Rajat Chauhan, Priyansh

Women’s compound: Jyoti Surekha Vennam, Aditi Gopichand Swami, Parneet Kaur, Parneet Kaur

Men’s recurve: Dhiraj Bommadevara, Tarundeep Rai, Pravin Jadhav, Mrinal Chauhan

Women’s recurve: Deepika Kumari, Bhajan Kaur, Ankita Bhakat, Komalika Bari