Parth Salunkhe, a 19-year-old archer from Satara, Maharashtra, has made history by becoming the first Indian male archer to win a gold medal in the recurve category at the Youth World Championships. His remarkable victory contributed to India’s highest-ever medal tally of 11 medals in the competition.
Victory in the Final
In the Under-21 men’s recurve individual final, Salunkhe faced a tough challenge against seventh seed Song Injun from Korea. However, Salunkhe showcased his skills and determination as he triumphed over his opponent with a score of 7-3 in a hard-fought five-setter. His victory marked a significant milestone for Indian archery.
Impressive Performance by India
India’s success extended beyond Salunkhe’s achievement. Bhaja Kaur, competing in the Under-21 women’s recurve individual section, secured a bronze medal by defeating Su Hsin-Yu of Chinese Taipei with a score of 7-1. Overall, India finished the tournament with an impressive haul of six gold, one silver, and four bronze medals, making them the highest-ranked nation in terms of total medals.
Parth Salunkhe’s journey to becoming a youth world champion began when his talent was discovered by coach Praveen Sawant during the post-pandemic phase in 2021. He then received training under Ram Avdesh at the SAI center in Sonipat. Salunkhe’s dedication and hard work paid off, and he became the first male archer in India to claim the title of youth world champion.
Indian Archers’ Success
Parth Salunkhe joins the ranks of other Indian archers who have achieved world champion status in the youth category. Notable names include Deepika Kumari, who became cadet and youth world champion in 2009 and 2011, and Komalika Bari, who emulated Kumari’s feat in 2019 and 2021. Compound archers Palton Hansda (2006) and the duo of Aditi Swami and Priyansh were also crowned youth world champions.
With the World Championships and Asian Games on the horizon, the question remains whether Parth Salunkhe will secure a spot in these prestigious competitions. His recent victory has undoubtedly bolstered his chances, and archery enthusiasts eagerly await his performance on the international stage.
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