Asian Games: Two peas from different pods, archers Jyothi, Ojas enjoy similar luck with three gold haul

 - Sakshi Post

Hangzhou, Oct 7 (IANS) They come from different backgrounds but on Saturday, Jyothi Surekha Vennam and Ojas Pravin Deotale were perched atop the same pedestal as India's most successful athletes at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou -- each having won three gold medals in compound archery.

Jyothi is from Hyderabad in Telangana, born to a former kabaddi player, who now is a veterinary doctor in Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh and a housewife.

Ojas is from Nagpur in Maharashtra, born in a middle-class family with his father in the property business and his mother working as principal of a school.

They do have a lot of similarities too -- both are compound archers, and both won the Team, Individual and Mixed Team gold medals in the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou.

The 27-year-old Jyothi, is one of the most decorated compound archers in the country, having won the gold medal (team) in the Berlin World Cup this year, silver in team and individual in the World Archery Championships since 2017, in all winning around 30 medals at the international stage.

In Hangzhou, Joythi won gold medals in the Compound Women's Team competition in which India beat Chinese Taipei in the final, gold in Compound Women's Individual by beating Republic of Korea's So Chaewon and the Compound Mixed Team gold along with Ojas Deotale by beating a Republic of Korea pair.

Besides winning the Compound Mixed Team gold with Jyothi, the 21-year-old Deotale won the Compound Men's Team title as India beat the Republic of Korea and the Compound Men's Individual gold by beating his senior teammateAbhishek Verma in the final.

Their rise in Indian archery too has been different -- Jyothi came into prominence as a child prodigy getting named in Limca Book of Records when she was four years old for crossing the Krishna river three times -- distance of 5ks -- in three hours and 2o minutes and six seconds. At the age of 13, she won an Olympic gold medal in the Mexican Grand Prix.

A troublemaker as a child, Deotable would make bows and arrows from brooms at home, forcing his mother to hide them from him. But he took archery seriously at the age of 13 in 2015 after his parents admitted him to an academy in Nagpur. A few years later, he joined A-ZEE Sports Academy under the NIS Coach Mohammad Zeeshan Rafique and stayed with his coach for a year as his parents couldn't afford to pay for his training. His academy also gave him equipment free of cost.

Just like Jyothi, Deotale is very dedicated to archery and during the nationwide lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, he stayed alone at his mother's school so that he could continue his training. In the next lockdown in 2021, Deotale initially stayed at his old academy but later moved to the school as it was more conducive. He has recently moved to Satara to coach under Pravin Sawant.

It is that training and dedication that paid off when Deotale won the gold medal at the World Championships in Berlin earlier this year. He also won the Compound Men's Team gold at the Paris World Cup and Mixed Team gold medals in the World Cups in Shanghai and Antalya earlier this year.

Teammates in various events, both Jyothi Surekha Vennam and Ojas Pravin Deotale are hoping that Compound archery makes it to the Olympics, where it is proposed to be added to the programme for 2028 in Los Angeles.

They would definitely like to replicate their Asian Games success at the Olympics. That would be another similarity between two archers coming from different backgrounds.

Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by the Sakshi Post team and is auto-generated from syndicated feed.

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