Trained by his father on YouTube, Parth Sushant Salunkhe becomes national archery champion at the age of 17: The Tribune India


Vinayak Padmadeo

Tribune news service

New Delhi, October 9th

Parth Sushant Salunkhe cheered as he stood on the podium after winning the individual gold medal in the Men’s Recurve Round of the National Archery Championships today.

Parth, who represented Maharashtra, defeated Sukhchain Singh of Services 7-3 to win the Nationals gold. Amit Yadav from Madhya Pradesh won bronze.

The 17-year-old was coached by his father, Sushant, for a good period of time from 2014 to 2017 after his initial coach left his apprenticeship school – New English Medium School within a few months of joining in 2012.

About a year passed with little or no help before Sushant took command. As a former national silver medalist in kickboxing, Sushant wanted his son to pursue his dreams. With the help of YouTube tutorials, he first taught himself and then passed the skills on to his son. Life changed after he was discovered in Aurangabad during the Khelo India trials. He relocated his base to the center of the Sports Authority of India in Sonipat in 2018 and has not looked back since.

“My father never wanted me to stop. He first taught himself over the Internet, watched YouTube and then trained me, ”Parth told The Tribune over the phone from Jamshedpur.

“I think he never did any sport himself, so he wanted me to keep going. My father is a teacher, my mother Anjali is a librarian, so you can imagine how difficult it would have been for me to survive. My father did everything to keep me in the sport. I am so happy that I won and hopefully more wins will follow, ”added Parth, who is a grade XII student at LNSK Junior College in Satara. Studies have taken a back seat, however, and he has little time for them these days. “I used to be a good student when archery wasn’t the focus of my plans. Now I’m an average student at best. My training takes me a lot of time, ”he said.

Roller coaster of an excursion

Parth, who won team gold at the 2021 Junior World Championships and also represented the senior team at the World Championships in Yankton, USA, had a horror in the semifinals against Amit. However, he pulled away well before he was eliminated 6-4.

The final was also a close shave as Sukchain recovered from losing the first set and made it 3-3, but the Satara boy won the next two sets and won 7-3.

“The semifinals were my toughest match,” said Parth, who was third after the qualifying round with a total of 673 points.

“I think I got a little nervous. Amit Bhai added with big arrows, but then I survived to win. The final was a little easier, ”he explained.

Heavy rackets bite the dust

The big names, including Deepika Kumari, Atanu Das and Jayanta Talukdar, could not achieve any podium places in individual laps. The women’s individual round was won by Dipti Kumari von Jharkhand, who defeated her teammate Komalika Bari 7-3. Simranjeet Kaur from Punjab won gold.

Deepika, who was at the top of the rankings with 655 points, lost her round-of-32 match against Manvi Sharma from Punjab 7-3, while Atanu was tamed 6-2 in the quarter-finals by former international Kapil. Jayanta lost to Sukhchain in the previous quarter.

It was similar in the mixed team competitions. Deepika and Atanu, who represent PSPB, lost in the quarterfinals to Prachi Singh and Kapish Singh from Rajasthan. The event was won by the Jharkhand duo Komalika and Jayanta Talukdar.


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