Archer Divyansh Kumar with coach Anurag Kamal. (Express)
Back in 2016, when a young Divyansh Kumar would go to Sukhna Lake for running, the Chandigarh youngster would see archers train at the nearby Lake Club Sports Complex. Eventually, Kumar asked his father Deepak Kumar to get him enrolled at the GKM Archery Academy in Sector 39, and started training under coach Anurag Kamal. On Monday, Divyansh became a champion in the recurve archery event in the boys’ U-17 category with a 6-4 win over last year’s champion Paras Hooda of Haryana in the Khelo India Youth Games at Guwahati.
“Whenever I saw archers train at the Lake Club Sports Complex, I was fascinated by the idea of the sport and asked my father to get me enrolled at the academy in Sector 39. To win my first Khelo India Youth Games is a special feeling. The weather was a bit windy and I had to adjust my game to counter the weather conditions. Paras was the defending champion of the Khelo India Youth Games and it was a tough final. This win will boost my confidence and I am glad that I have started the year on a good note,” shared 14-year-old Kumar, who is a student of ninth standard at KB DAV School in Sector 7.
Prior to the final, Kumar scored a 6-4 win over Sagar Sharma of Haryana in the semi-finals. In the quarter-finals, Kumar scored a 6-4 win over Amit Kumar of Madhya Pradesh. Last year, Kumar had won two silver medals in the SGFI Nationals held at Kadapa in Andhra Pradesh. The youngster claimed a silver medal in the individual recurve event, where he lost to Arjun Singh of Rajasthan, apart from winning a silver medal overall. Before the SGFI nationals, Kumar had won two bronze medals in the CBSE Nationals. “The bronze medals in CBSE Nationals at Sangrur helped me believe that I can win in the nationals. Winning the silver medal in SGFI Nationals was a big morale booster for me and I was targeting a podium finish at the Khelo India Youth Games. Both my wins in semi-finals and final respectively came against Haryana archers, who were much more experienced than me. My aim is to book a place in the Indian junior team,” Kumar said.
Coach Anurag Kamal rates the youngster highly and sees the 2022 Youth Olympic games as the next target for the youngster. “When he started archery, his driver was his mental strength and he improved his physical strength a lot in the coming months. The medal will give him a huge boost. We are hopeful that he will be selected for the South Asian Archery Championships later this year, if the team is announced. With the right exposure, Divyansh can make it to the Indian team for 2020 Youth Olympic Games and win a medal for the country,” the coach said.