The upswing in the fortunes of Indian archers for the better has brought the sport into the spotlight in India. The laurels they got home from significant events made the powers that be sit up and take notice. World-class facilities and equipment were made available for these triumphant archers and aspiring ones alike.
The Mint reports on plans by the Archery Association of India to set up an archery league. Should this vision materialise, it will be beneficial for the sport.
The upcoming league will help identify talented players at the grassroots level and bring them to the limelight. The association plans to coordinate closely with the World Archery Federation, and they hope the league will attract top foreign archers, both men and women.
These talented individuals’ achievements could tempt even the layperson to pick up the bow and arrow for a chance at glory. While not everyone can make it to the highest levels of the sport or even indulge in it casually, playing an archery game online can help scratch the itch and give them an opportunity to try their hand at it, even though it’s in a virtual setting.
We will now take a look at some of India’s most talented archers who earned extensive accolades and brought glory to the country during the course of their careers.
1. Limba Ram
The Rajasthan-born Limba Ram’s career took off in 1987 when scouts of the Sports Authority of India spotted the talented youngster. He was just fifteen at the time. By the time he was twenty, he had won a gold and a silver medal in the team and individual events, respectively, at the Beijing Archery Asian Cup held in 1989.
Limba Ram is India’s foremost archer and represented India with distinction in a record three Olympic games. He represented India in Seoul in 1988, Barcelona in 1992, and Atlanta in 1996. Limba Ram narrowly missed out on the bronze medal at the Barcelona Olympics. He won a silver medal in the individual event and a gold in the team event at the Commonwealth Games held in 1995.
The Government of India awarded Limba Ram the Arjuna award in 1991 and the Padma Shri in 2012. Limba Ram’s name is etched in Indian sporting history as one of the finest archers to have graced the game.
2. Bombayla Devi Laishram
Bombayla’s mother, an archery coach at the state level, introduced her to this sport. With a bronze medal in the 2007 World Cup in Dover and an outstanding follow-up performance at the 2007 World Archery Championship, Bombayla booked a spot at the 2008 Beijing Games.
This Manipal-born archer secured four gold medals, five silver, and four bronze in team recurve events at various World Cups, which made her one of the most-feted Indian archers in World Cup history.
Her remarkable moment of glory came in the 2010 Commonwealth Games when she won the gold medal as part of the recurve team. Not one to rest on her laurels, she went on to win a bronze medal in the 2010 Asian Games.
3. Deepika Kumari
Deepika Kumari burst onto the Indian archery scene, winning two gold medals at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, at individual and team events, and promptly becoming India’s golden girl. She achieved this milestone at the tender age of sixteen.
The Ranchi-born archer added another feather to her cap when she won the team bronze at the 2010 Asian Games and silver in the 2011 World Championship. She also snagged three gold and three silver medals at various individual events.
Even though Deepika was at the top of the world rankings in 2012, she failed to live up to her reputation at the London 2012 Olympics. She redeemed herself when she won her second individual women’s recurve World Cup gold in Paris in 2021. She also pocketed two more gold medals as part of the mixed and women’s gold-winning Indian teams on the final day in the French capital
She was awarded the Arjuna and the Padma Shri awards in 2012 and 2016 for her contributions to the sport.
4. Jayanta Talukdar
Guwahati-based archer Jayanta Talukdar began his professional career with a silver medal at the World Junior Championship in 2004. He gave his best-ever individual performance for India at the 2009 World Cup in Croatia by winning a gold medal. The gold medal at the 2009 World Cup was Talukdar’s second at this event, as he had clinched his maiden individual gold at the archery World Cup in 2006.
He attained the rank of the world’s top player in 2009 and has a total tally of seven gold, ten silver, and five bronze medals as part of the Indian contingent at the World Cups.
5. Abhishek Verma
Abhishek Verma has been one of the top archers in the Asian Archery circuit over the past two decades. He won the gold medal in the compound bow team competition and silver in the individual compound bow competition at the Asian Games held in 2014.
Abhishek Verma has been a consistent performer in the Indian archery circuit. He was awarded the prestigious Arjuna Award for his contribution to Indian Archery in 2014.
With their incredible success stories, these archers are a beacon for aspiring youngsters looking to take archery as a career option. Thanks to their dedication and perseverance, these outstanding competitors have made India a force to reckon with in this sport while motivating others to do the same.