9 months after mind stroke, Pragati in Indian archery group

Vinayak Padmadeo 

Today News Online Service

New Delhi, March 3

Nine months after a brain stroke almost stopped her budding career, 16-year-old archer Pragati Choudhary has won a place in the Indian women’s compound team.

Pragati, a former Khelo India winner who has won titles in multiple cadet groups, stood third in rankings in the selection trials that concluded today. The trials were held to select the teams for three archery World Cups, the first of which is scheduled to be held in Guatemala in April.

Pragati was hospitalised and operated on in May last year after a sudden stroke. It took her a good two months to start walking again. “I had to go for physiotherapy to start walking again,” Pragati told The Tribune on Wednesday. “In two months, the doctors gave me the go-ahead to start training again. It was difficult to start off but I am happy that today I have won a place in the senior team.”

Split teams?

It is likely that the Archery Association of India (AAI) may have to split the teams as the three World Cups are scheduled to be held back-to-back. After Guatemala, the Shanghai World Cup is scheduled to be held in the second week of May, while the third is scheduled for Paris in the third week of June.

By finishing third, Pragati is assured participation in two of the three World Cups.

The team will be led by seasoned professional V Jyothi Surekha, who bettered her own national record of 709 with 710 today. Madhya Pradesh’s Muskan Kirar and Delhi’s Saachi Dhalla make the top four who will be part of the A team.

Swati Dudwal, Ragini Marko, Trisha Deb and Akshita will in all probability be named in Team B, which may be sent to the Paris World Cup.

Bisla on top

In the men’s section, it was Sangampreet Bisla who led the charts with a cumulative core of 2825 across four rounds, to get the top rank ahead of Rajat Chauhan, who totalled 2821. Delhi duo Aman Saini and Abhishek Verma completed the top four.

Rishabh Yadav, MR Bharadwaj, Arjun Kumar and Sukhbeer Singh will be part of Team B.

Interestingly, there are at least five archers in both teams who have emerged from Delhi’s only dedicated archery venue, the Yamuna Sports Complex. Pragati, Saachi Dhalla, Akshita, Aman Saini and Abhishek Verma have received training at this venue.

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