Olympic countdown: Deepika, Atanu, and the perennial hope of an archery medal


By Ajai Masand
New Delhi, July 16 |
Indian archery is finding its feet after a long time and two of the best exponents in the sport, Deepika Kumari and Atanu Das, are at the forefront of a resurgence, which has given hope that the sport can earn the country the elusive medal at the Olympics.

Despite the archery association being mired in controversy and uncertainty that has lingered on for years, Indian archers finally broke the cycle of disappointment when they returned rich pickings at the World Cup Stage 3 in Paris late last month, with recurve archer Deepika winning three gold medals — women’s individual, team and mixed pair — to reclaim the No.1 spot in the world, which she achieved for the first time in 2012.

The 27-year-old from Ranchi first paired with Ankita Bhakat and Komalika Bari to win the women’s recurve team gold, beating Mexico. The husband-wife duo of Deepika and Atanu Das then won the mixed gold, overcoming the Dutch, and finally, she put the icing on the cake by winning her fourth individual World Cup gold.

Deepika’s overall tally of nine gold, 12 silver and seven bronze in the world cups gives hope that the double Commonwealth Games gold medallist in 2010 Delhi could be the frontrunner for a medal in her third outing at the Olympics. Hopes are also high because Deepika has got nearly two years of preparation time as she had secured the Tokyo berth in the 2019 Olympic qualification cycle.

While Deepika is the only woman archer who will be representing India at the Olympics, three men – Atanu Das, Tarundeep Rai, and Pravin Jadhav – will vie for the honours in the men’s team event, and then Deepika and Atanu will pair up in the mixed category.

Indian archers have come close to clinching a podium finish on the big stage on a couple of occasions. Notable among them is the performance of three-time Olympian Limba Ram who missed the 1992 Barcelona Olympics bronze medal by a whisker.

Limba’s story is part of India’s sporting folklore, where a hunter belonging to the Ahari tribe of Rajasthan was spotted by the Sports Authority of India’s scouts and thrown into the spotlight in 1987.

While Limba continued to excel on the international stage, several youngsters, many of them tribals, were scouted by SAI’s Special Area Games scheme and their talent was harnessed in centres around the country.

Over the years, Dola Banerjee, Satyadev Prasad, Bombayala Devi, Tarundeep Rai and many more have spawned hopes of a medal on the big stage but things have somehow not clicked.

At 37, Tarundeep Rai, who first competed at the 2004 Athens Olympics and has been Limba Ram’s understudy, is among the most experienced of the trio — Atanu Das and Pravin Jadhav being the others – going to Tokyo, and would like to end his career on a high.

More than anything, Deepika would also be keen to erase the memory of the 2012 London Olympics when despite being the firm favourite after winning her maiden World Cup individual gold at Antalya, Turkey, she lost to home favourite Amy Oliver in the opening round, attributing the exit to poor health.

Deepika’s run at the 2016 Rio Olympics too came to an abrupt halt after showing promise, as she went down to an archer from Chinese Taipei in the round-of-16.

While, winning a medal is easier said than done when the South Koreans and the Japanese are aiming for nothing less than gold, this could still be an opportunity for the Indians to bring their experience to the fore and get rid of the underachiever tag once and for all.

Source: IANS

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Elon Musk asks hard-hitting AI engineers for job

Elon Musk asks hard-hitting AI engineers for job

Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk on Monday tweeted that he is hiring Artificial Intelligence (AI) engineers who are passionate about solving day-to-day problems through AI

San Francisco, Dec 6 | Musk hiring engineers to solve problems that affects people’s lives. Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk on Monday tweeted that he is hiring Artificial Intelligence (AI) engineers who are passionate about solving day-to-day problems through AI.

“As always, Tesla is looking for hardcore AI engineers who care about solving problems that directly affect people’s lives in a major way,” Musk tweeted along with a link to apply for the job.

Interested candidates can apply by filling in fields like name, email, exceptional work done in software, hardware or AI, dropping their resume in the PDF format and hitting the Apply option.

As per the website, Tesla’s AI and Autopilot unit develops and deploys autonomy at scale in vehicles, robots and more.

“We believe that an approach based on advanced for vision and planning, supported by efficient use of inference hardware, is the only way to achieve a general solution for full self-driving and beyond,” the website read.

In a 2014 interview, Musk said he looked for “evidence of exceptional ability” in a potential employee, rather than a degree from a prestigious university.

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“There is no need even to have a college degree at all, or even high school,” Musk said during an interview with the German automotive publication Auto Bild about his hiring preferences more broadly.

“If somebody graduated from a great university, that may be an indication that they will be capable of great things, but it’s not necessarily the case. If you look at, say, people like Bill Gates or Larry Ellison, Steve Jobs, these guys didna¿t graduate from college, but if you had a chance to hire them, of course that would be a good idea.”

Source: IANS


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