TOKYO (Reuters) – Five archers to watch at the Tokyo Olympics:
BRADY ELLISON (UNITED STATES)
Ranked number one in the world, and a three-times Olympic archery medallist, Ellison is enjoying the best time of his long international career.
The 32-year-old set a new world record in 2019 and is taking momentum into the Tokyo Olympics as he targets his first Olympic gold.
Ellison overcame complications from Perthes Disease, a condition affecting the hip joint in children, and put off surgery for nine months so he could compete in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. His Slovenian wife is also an archer.
LISA BARBELIN (FRANCE)
The 21-year-old secured a quota place for the Olympics this month and will compete at her first Games.
Her run of victories moved her into top spot in the women’s world rankings at the start of the year.
KIM WOOJIN (SOUTH KOREA)
The 29-year-old Kim will be a contender in Tokyo to break the qualification round record set by the American Ellison.
Kim won gold in the men’s team event at Rio 2016, but suffered a surprise elimination in the individual round of 32.
DEEPIKA KUMARI (INDIA)
Kumari is a real medal prospect for India at the Tokyo Olympics and trains with husband and another Tokyo-bound recurve archer Atanu Das.
With her father working as an auto-rickshaw driver, Kumari grew up watching her parents struggle to make ends meet. The wheels of fortune began shifting, however, after she managed to join a state-run archery academy that provided free training. Her story is featured in a Netflix documentary Ladies First.
LISA UNRUH (GERMANY)
A silver medallist in Rio, Unruh, 33, may be one of the few athletes who benefited from the postponement of the Olympics last year.
Following a shoulder operation, she looked set to miss out, but the pandemic gave her the time to recover.
Unlike most elite athletes, archery is not Unruh’s full-time job as she works as a police officer.
(Reporting by Ju-min Park; Editing by Toby Davis and Ed Osmond)