Shanghai 2024: Deepika Kumari makes final four on World Cup return

Deepika Kumari shoots in Shanghai.

Superstar Indian archer Deepika Kumari is back on the Indian team, back on the Hyundai Archery World Cup circuit and back shooting for a spot on the podium at this year’s opening stage in Shanghai.

The former world number one battled up from the 30th seed, upsetting number six qualifier Jeon Hunyoung Jeon in the quarterfinals to make a final four that features last year’s winner here in China, Lim Sihyeon, alongside third Korean Nam Suhyeon and home favourite Li Jiaman.

“I‘m very happy to return to the team in such an important year,” said Kumari.

“I’m happy to do what I’ve wanted to do for so long. I just wanted to play, for myself. I feel that if I’m not playing, or not playing well, I’m not alive.”

Deepika missed the Indian team in 2023 after becoming a mother in late 2022.

Her early impact on this return to the international arena this week was minimal, with an underwhelming qualifying and the team taking an early exit. But during today’s eliminations… she excelled.

“Yesterday was a very bad day in the team event. I was very frustrated. But after talking to my psychologist, I came back into today’s matches with a positive mindset and that helped,” she said.

“I didn’t see my opponents’ arrows during my matches today. I wanted to be in my zone.”

Kumari faces Korean debutant Nam in her semifinal.

Meanwhile, Lim – last year’s breakout star on the international circuit – will take on Li, who has only recently become a fixture on the Chinese senior squad after winning the Youth Olympic Games that were held in this country a decade ago.

“I want to thank the audience and my teammates for encouraging me during my match,” she said after beating world number one Casey Kaufhold in the quarters. “Last year we didn’t have a crowd until the finals.”

“I will give my best to get the gold.”

Kim Woojin and Kim Je Deok, and Thomas Chirault and Andres Temiño are the line-ups in the two recurve men’s semifinals.

French and Spanish archers caused havoc throughout one half of the bracket. 

Jean-Charles Valladont knocked out number-two-seed Matias Grande, while Ken Sanchez eliminated third qualifier Dhiraj Bommadevara. Both would lose their subsequent matches, with Chirault and Temiño taking ultimate advantage.

“Hard work pays off,” said Chirault. “It’s not over yet.”

Competition in Shanghai continues with compound finals on Saturday.

Final fours: Shanghai 2024

Full results on the event page.

Recurve men

Recurve women

Watch coverage from Shanghai live with a subscription to archery+.