One of India’s leading archers - Deepika Kumari has shed light on her battle against depression after she finally won a gold medal after a gap of six years in the sport of archery. Deepika had last won a gold medal when she won at at the 2012 Antalya World Cup right before the London Olympics.
To the common man, six years might just fly by as they go about their daily routine with work and family but when you’re a sportsperson that same time period can seem like an eternity, especially when success constantly evades you. Such was the case of Indian archer, Deepika Kumari, who faced a long wait ahead of her after winning the gold medal at the 2012 Antalya World Cup before her dry spell began.
Back in 2012, Deepika was India's biggest medal hope for the London Olympics as she had achieved gold medal success at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games previously. The Ranchi-born lass even clinched an individual gold in the recurve event at the Antalya World Cup just before the London games to boost expectations. But disaster struck in Europe as she was eliminated in the first round of the London Olympics.
"It's been a difficult, depressing six years for me, especially the last two
What followed was a string of poor performances across various competitions for Kumari. In those six years since the Antalya triumph, through many World Cup stages, World Cup finals, two Summer Olympics and Commonwealth Games and one Asian Games, the gold continued to escape her grasp. Kumari managed to win just two silver medals, in 2013 and 2015 at a WC final.
However, that all changed on Monday when Deepika finally ended that long drought as she secured gold in the recurve event at the World Cup (stage-III) iniSalt Lake City, US, where she defeated Germany's Michelle Kroppen 7-3.
"The last time I won an individual recurve medal was in 2015 and, since then, it's been all downhill. I knew that quitting the game wasn't an option, but when you are not winning, what else is an athlete supposed to do? That feeling of emptiness had impacted me immensely, so I am greatly relieved to win the gold I had been craving for years," she added.
Deepika's next short-term target remained the Jakarta Asian Games where the competition will be seriously tough, but she's not taking her eyes off the ultimate goal which was a gold at the Tokyo Olympics.