Deepika Kumari secures top-10 seeding at Olympics in Tokyo

Deepika Kumari shoots during qualifying at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

World number one Deepika Kumari seeded ninth with a score of 663 out of a possible 720 points on Friday in the women’s individual qualification at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The Indian archer sat in fourth after the first half of the round, having shot 334, but she slipped a little in the closing ends.

“The performance was good and bad, a little in between I would say,” Kumari said. “I don’t why I wasn’t too good, but I’m planning to control my stuff so that I can play with it.”

A seven in the last end dropped Kumari two places in the seeding, from seventh to ninth, somewhat spoiling a morning in which she shot the second-most Xs – the middle ring, smaller than the 10, that breaks ties – in the field with 13. (Top seed An San, who broke the Olympic record with her score of 680, led the women with 16.)

There was talk on the range that the wind in the middle, where Kumari was shooting, seemed tougher to read than at the side.

Nevertheless, Kumari’s qualifying result in Tokyo is a career-best at the Olympics – by a single point.

She shot 662 eight years ago in London and 640 at Rio 2016.

Kumari earned the eighth seed in 2012, when she also arrived at the Games ranked number one in the world, only to lose in the first round of matchplay in the individual event.

With another top-10 seed, Kumari is hoping her third appearance at the Olympics will last a little longer. 

“I want to show my best performance here, and I’ll shoot it 100% in the next round,” she said. “It’s good [to be here] but, at the same time, I just want to succeed.”

Kumari will face Karma of Bhutan, who seeded 56th with a score of 616, in her first-round match, which will take place in the afternoon on Wednesday 28 July.