Why archer Deepika Kumari broke down

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Indian women archers in Delhi
Deepika Kumari (Left) and Rimil Buriuly(Right) Photo: PTI

Soon after the news of a poor reception being given at the New Delhi airport to the Archery World Cup winning women’s recurve team broke, the team comprising Laishram Bombayla Devi (28), Rimil Buriuly (22) and 19-year-old captain Deepika Kumari was felicitated at the residence of VK Malhotra, President of the Archery Association of India (AAI). The team, led by Deepika, beat the Olympic Champions and World No. 1 team, South Korea on Sunday with a 219-215 win for the Gold medal.

Television channels awaiting the archers’ arrival grappled for interviews of the athletes and of Deepika Kumari in particular since she is the only Indian to have qualified for the finals of the individual event to be held in Paris next month (21-22 September). The archers, however, were short on time as they had to catch a flight back to the Sports Authority of India’s national camp in Aurangabad (Maharashtra) which was shifted from the Army Sports Institute in Pune just last month.

“We were at VK Malhotra Sir’s house and we were in a hurry as we had a flight to catch at 3 pm. The news channels were asking us for interviews and specifically for a separate interview from Deepika. She simply said that since we’re short on time, please take a combined interview but they wouldn’t listen and kept hounding her about how long they had been waiting. She then got angry and broke down because of the pressure they were putting, but she’s fine now,” clarifies her teammate Laishram Bombayla Devi.

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