Indian couple Kumari and Das reach mixed team final in Paris
Chemistry won't be an issue when Deepika Kumari and Atanu Das step to the line for Sunday’s mixed team final at the third stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Paris.
The Rio 2016 Olympians represent India’s best archers in their respective categories – and among the top archers in the world. It only makes sense that they would join forces in the event that will make its Olympic debut next month in Tokyo.
“You can say we're a special team,” said Kumari, who last won a mixed medal with Das when they took bronze at the Asian Championships in 2019. “We don’t have any problem with communication and understanding each other.”
That the two are also married only solidifies their status as a formidable competitive duo.
Kumari and Das each won individual gold at stage one of the international circuit in Guatemala City, and the former is still in contention to win a second individual gold after reaching the final four of the recurve women’s event on Wednesday.
Kumari could potentially leave Paris with two gold medals if she and her husband beat Gabriela Schloesser and Sjef Van Den Berg of the Netherlands in the mixed team final, too.
The match will also serve as valuable preparation with the Olympics just one month away.
“We are so very happy,” Kumari said. “We wanted to win because I've never been to the mixed team final [with Atanu]. I really wanted that.”
The Netherlands, like India, is considered a contender for gold in the mixed team event in Tokyo. The Dutch duo is ranked second in the world behind only powerhouse Korea, while India is ranked 13th. (A bump is in order for Monday, when the new list is released, off the back of this result).
Whichever pair wins on Sunday will only affirm their status as contenders in Japan.