I want to get a gold at the Olympics: Deepika Kumari

Deepika Kumari got acquainted with archery thanks to her cousin Vidya Kumari, who was a trainee at the Tata Archery Academy, says a report in The Times Of India, adding that pretty soon, though, talent scouts from the Seraikela-Kharsawan Archery Academy, run by Meera Munda, wife of Jharkhand chief minister Arjun Munda, spotted her during a visit to her village school. By 2005, she had become a student at the academy.

"I didn't know anything about archery when I took to the sport. But somehow I loved it from the very beginning," she explains. Deepika was in awe of Olympian Dola Banerjee. "I first saw Dola didi at the academy. But I did not have the courage to talk to her. Slowly, however, I got to know her better at the camps and later during international tournaments. Didi has helped me a lot and she is still my idol," Deepika said, adding, "I want to get a gold at the Olympics," she says.

Deepika, along with Laishram Bombayla Devi and Chekrovolu Swuro, can pull off something special in the women's team competition too. The male archers -- Jayanta Talukdar, Rahul Banerjee and Tarundeep Rai -- are also expected to make a strong bid in the individual and team events.

Meanwhile a Pune Mirror says that besides the skills, much of Deepika’s success at this young age is attributed to her cool demeanour. “Hope I can achieve the ultimate goal in a sportsperson’s life, that’s winning an Olympic medal,” the media-shy Deepika said just before leaving for London.

Asked about the secret of staying cool under pressure, Deepika observed, “The Olympics is not a ghost, so there is nothing to be scared about. I have the self-belief and confidence... That’s how, I am here.”

Meanwhile a report in The Times Of India says that Deepika Kumari becoming World No. 1 in women's recurve archery has raised expectations of her making it to the podium at the London Games and national coach Limba Ram said the young archer has all the qualities to bag a medal at the mega-event. "I'm expecting a medal from Deepika (Kumari)," said Limba Ram on the sidelines of a send-off program.

"Deepika is at her peak. She is young and energetic and is never ready to lose. She is very sincere when it's come to training and this will pay her at the big stage.