Asian Games 2018: Miner’s daughter Madhumita provides silver lining for Jharkhand

Along with Muskan Kirar and Jyothi Sureka Vennam, Madhumita, 21, helped India finished second to South Korea, losing a nailbiting final 228-231 in Jakarta.

Updated: Aug 29, 2018 09:40:52

By Sanjoy Dey

Jakarta: Indian archer Madhumita Kumari competes in the women's compound team final event, at the Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta on Tuesday, August 28, 2018. (PTI)

If Madhumita Kumari has mixed feelings about Tuesday’s women’s compound archery team final in Jakarta, don’t blame her. She could have done better than shoot eight in the final set but the 21-year-old daughter of a coal mine bulldozer driver in Jharkhand would also appreciate what it means to be an Asian Games silver medallist. Especially, since it her first international medal.

Along with Muskan Kirar and Jyothi Sureka Vennam, Madhumita, 21, helped India finished second to South Korea, losing a nailbiting final 228-231 in Jakarta. India went into the competition as the world’s No 1 team but the silver is an improvement on the bronze they won in Incheon four years ago.

At the Birsa Munda Archery Academy in Silli, about 60km from Ranchi, Madhumita’s coach Prakash Ram seemed to suggest that in sport, you either win or learn; you never lose. “This is no less than a gold medal for us as this is the first time the India women’s team won silver at Asian Games in compound archery. She has a good future,” said Ram.

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Madhumita is from Jharkhand’s Ramgarh district. Growing up in the Mukundbera Ghatotand area meant she had walk four kilometers each way daily to get to the feeder archery centre run by the Tatas. “Transport was a problem, so she walked,” said her father Jitendra Narayan Singh who is a bulldozer operator in the company’s mines in West Bokaro.

Singh said Madhumita had a knack for archery since childhood. She got the opportunity when she was reading in Class 5 at West Bokaro’s Shramik Vidya Niketan.

“Two archery coaches Prakash Ram and Shishir Mahato chose her along with a few girls for the Tata feeder centre in 2008,” said Singh.

In 2009, Madhumita joined the Birsa Munda Archery Academy, said Singh. Madhumita began participating in recurve events since 2010 and won gold in an event in Vijayawada in 2011. She shifted to compound archery in 2014. Madhumita has won over 50 medals at national level events but ranked 81st in the world, Ram said she had no international medals from the dozen events she had taken part in. That changed on Tuesday.

Jharkhand chief minister Raghubar Das announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh for Madhumita “She has made the country proud and become an inspiration for Jharkhand’s daughters and the youth,” said Das.

From Purnima Mahato to Deepika Kumari, Jharkhand has a tradition of producing archers. Deepika floundered in Jakarta but Madhumita ensured there would at least be a silver lining.

First Published: Aug 29, 2018 09:08:46


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