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Ankita Bhakat

Ankita Bhakat (born 17 June 1998) is an Indian recurve archer who is currently ranked world number 51 by the World Archery Federation. She is a member of the Indian national recurve team and competes in international events in the women's individual, women's team and the mixed team recurve categories. She competed in the 2017 World Archery Youth Championships held at Rosario, Argentina and won the gold medal in the recurve junior mixed team event with partner Jemson Singh Ningthoujam.

Born and raised in Kolkata, Bhakat took up archery when she was ten. Subsequently, she attended Calcutta Archery Club for initial training. Afterwards, in 2014, she went to the Tata Archery Academy at Jamshedpur.

Early life

Bhakat was born on 17 June 1998 in Kolkata, West Bengal, the daughter of a milkman, Shantanu Bhakat. She grew up in Kolkata, where she took up the sport of archery at the age of ten. Subsequently, she joined the Calcutta Archery Club, where she received her initial training. Afterwards, she was selected to join the Tata Archery Academy at Jamshedpur in 2014, where she trained under Dharmendra Tiwari, Purnima Mahato and Ram Awdesh.

Career

In April 2015, Bhakat participated in selection trials conducted by the Archery Association of India (AAI) for the Indian national team that was to compete in the 2015 World Archery Youth Championships in Yankton, and was selected on the basis of her performance in the trials. However, a week prior to the event, the Indian team withdrew as eighteen of its athletes and coaches were denied visas to enter the US.

Afterwards, Bhakat participated as a member of the Indian team in the 2015 Seoul International Youth Archery Festa, which was held from 3 to 9 September in Seoul, South Korea and won two medals: a bronze in the girl's individual recurve competition and a silver in the girl's recurve team event. In 2016, Bhakat competed in the women's individual recurve competition at the Indoor Archery World Cup Stage 2 held from 10 to 11 December 2016 in Bangkok, Thailand, where she defeated Prachi Singh 6–2 in an all-Indian first round match, but lost 0–6 to Jeon Hunyoung in the pre-quarter-finals.

In March 2017, Bhakat competed in the women's individual and women's recurve team events at the 2017 Asia Cup – Stage 2 held in Bangkok. In the former event, she reached the quarter-finals, losing 2–6 to compatriot Deepika Kumari, while in the latter event, she won a silver medal along with her teammates, Promia Daimary and Sakshi Rajendra Shitole, losing 0–6 to the top seeds team of Chinese Taipei in the final. That same month, she took part in the women's recurve competition at the 37th edition of the Indian Senior National Championships, which were held at Faridabad. She made it to the finals, losing 6–2 to Deepika Kumari.

Shortly thereafter, in July 2017, Bhakat competed at the 2017 Asia Cup – Stage 3 World Ranking Tournament held from 4 to 9 July 2017 in Chinese Taipei in three events—women's individual, women's team and mixed team. She won the bronze medal in the mixed team event with her partner Mukesh Boro. Later that year, she was among the 24 members who were selected to compete for the Indian national team in the 2017 World Archery Youth Championships at Rosario, Argentina following completion of their training at Sonipat, Haryana.

At the Youth World Archery Championships, Bhakat competed in the recurve junior mixed team event with her partner Jemson Singh Ningthoujam, and together they were seeded ninth. The pair won the gold medal after defeating the Russian team 6–2 in the final, thus giving India its fourth overall world youth championships title and its first since Deepika Kumari won it in 2009 and 2011. They had defeated the top-seeded Korean team 5–4 in the quarter-final and the Ukrainian team 6–0 in the semi-final, respectively, en route to the final.

In April 2018, Bhakat competed at the 2018 Archery World Cup held from 23 to 29 April in Shanghai, China in the women's individual, women's team and the mixed team recurve events. In the individual recurve event, she was seeded eighth, after having scored 665 out of 720 points in the qualifications round. She defeated compatriot Bombayla Devi Laishram 6–4 in the third round, but lost 4–6 to China's An Qixuan in the fourth round. She teamed up with Promila Daimary and Deepika Kumara in the women's team event and with Atanu Das in the mixed team event, reaching the quarter-finals of both events before losing 1–5 and 4–5 to the Chinese and United States teams respectively.

Subsequently, in May 2018, Bhakat competed in the women's individual and women's recurve team events at the 2018 Archery World Cup – Stage 2 held in Antalya, Turkey. In the latter event, she teamed up with Promila Daimary and Deepika Kumari, and eventually reached the semi-finals by defeating the French and the Russian teams 5–3 and 5–1 in the second round and quarter-finals, respectively. In the semi-final, however, the Indian team lost 2–6 to the South Korean team. Subsequently, they faced Chinese Taipei in the bronze medal match, losing 2–6.