Sakshi has sights on Olympic qualification events
Calm and composed Sakshi produced clinical show to win Women’s Under-21 recurve gold medal
Pune: Four days before the Khelo India Youth Games began, Sakshi Shitole, Maharashtra’s archer with golden bow, met with an accident while travelling to her training base and hurt her shoulder.
For the next few hours Sakshi didn’t know what to do and she confided in her coach Ranjeet Chamle and together they decided to keep quiet about it.
“More than tending to her physical strain, Sakshi needed to stay calm and focus on the upcoming competition. It is here mental training comes into picture and she showed great perseverance,” said Chamle.
“We didn’t even tell her parents about the accident,” the coach said of Sakshi’s farmer father and homemaker mother.
On Sunday at the Army Sports Institute a calm and composed Sakshi produced clinical show to win Women’s Under-21 recurve gold medal-which incidentally was the last medal at stake at the Khelo India Youth Games.
“I knew I had beaten all of them who were in the fray so I was confident of making it to the final,” Sakshi told Sakal Times in an interview.
A first year student of Bachelor of Arts in SP College, Sakshi had won gold medal last year too in Delhi, but she wanted to do one better here and so that accident was set aside till the event got over on Sunday.
No wonder her coach Chamle, who runs Archers Academy, was beaming given that another of his trainee, Isha Pawar, too won gold medal on the final day of the games, in Girls Under-17 compound event. Two gold medals on a single day in archery was without doubt commendable show for the coach.
The two gold medals helped Maharashtra take the second spot in the overall championship with four medals, including a silver and a bronze.
The 18-year-old Sakshi, who took up archery only six years ago, without doubt is aiming for Olympic qualification given that the discipline she competes in is the lone Olympic event in archery. Compound archery is yet to make it to Olympics.
The seven-time national record holder Sakshi has been to four Asian Cup Archery tournaments since her last year’s exploits that earned her the much-needed scholarship from the Sports Authority of India.
Two bronze medals, one in Manila, the Philippines, which hosted the 4th Asian Cup, and the second in Taipei is what kept her going.
“I have beaten even the senior national archers including Olympian Deepika Kumari,” Sakshi informed.
“I did not shoot the qualification round as well as I wanted to but I knew I could put that behind,” said Sakshi, who now resides in Pune for studies and training but is originally from Ahmednagar.
In three days from now Sakshi will be in Rohtak for World Cup and World Championship trials that the Haryana City is hosting.
Without doubt World Championship is high on Sakshi’s agenda as that is the first Olympic Qualifier for the 2020 Tokyo Games.
“I want to move step by step and hope to make it to Olympic qualifiers in ship shape with optimum hope,” Sakshi concluded.
Results: Finals: Men Under-21:
Recurve: Sachin Gupta (Har) bt Bommadevara Dhiraj (AP) 6-2. Bronze: Shukmani Babrekar (Mah).
Compound: Sangampreet Singh Bisla (Pun) bt Rahul (Har) 145-139. Bronze: Sumit Kumar (Har).
Recurve: Paras Hooda (Har) bt Rahul (Har) 6-4. Bronze: Karni Singh Chauhan (Raj).
Compound: Ritik Chahal (Del) bt Prathamesh Jawkar (Mah) 143-142. Bronze: Rishabh Yadav (Har).
Recurve: Sakshi Shitole (Mah) bt Suparna Singh (Bengal) 6-0. Bronze: Riya Tewatia (Har).
Compound: Anita Kumari (Jhar) bt Muskan Kirar (MP) 145-144. Bronze: Swarna Jhawar (Raj).
Recurve: Komalika Bari (Jhar) bt Shaniya Sharma (Jhar) 6-2. Bronze: Amanpreet Kaur (Pun).
Compound: Isha Pawar (Mah) bt Sanchita Tiwari (Del) 145-142. Bronze: Priya Gurjar (Raj).