Indian archers at Asian Games: Events, key dates, format and rules

Jyothi Surekha Vennam. Photo by Dean Alberga/Handout/World Archery Federation via Getty Images

Archery at the Asian Games begins on October 1, and will go on till October 7 at the Fuyang Yinhu Sports Center. The medal matches will be on the last two days: with the team finals on October 4 (mixed recurve, mixed compound), 5 (M and W compound) and 6 (M and W recurve) and the individual finals (M and W compound; M and W recurve) on October 7 - there will be ten medals up for grabs.

Here we look at the event from an Indian perspective, including who's participating and how the event works:

Who are the athletes participating?

There are 16 Indians participating, 8 women and 8 men, both equally split across compound and recurve archery. Compound women's world champion Aditi Swami and world no. 3 Jyothi Surekha Vennam will lead the contingent. The biggest missing name is former recurve women's world no. 1 Deepika Kumari.

Recurve archers (W): Bhajan Kaur, Prachi Singh, Ankita Bhakat, Simranjeet Kaur

Recurve archers (M): Dhiraj Bommadevera, Atanu Das, Mrinal Chauhan, Tushar Shelke

Compound archers (W): Aditi Gopichand Swami, Jyothi Surekha Vennam, Avneet Kaur, Parneet Kaur

Compound archers (M): Abhishek Verma, Prathamesh Jawkar, Rajat Chauhan, Ojas Pravin Deotale

How does qualification work?

The first round is the ranking round; where all archers shoot a fixed set of arrows and are then ranked as per their score. Archers shoot 72 arrows each at a target, in 12 ends (or sets) of six arrows each. A perfect score would be 720.

In men's and women's team events, four shooters shoot 72 each but only the totals of the best three archers (of the four) are added up to give a score out of 2160 (720 x 3).

And after that?

In the first elimination round, the archer who finishes first will face the archer who finishes last in qualification, with the archer who finishes second taking on the second-last place finisher and so on.

Who are the favourites?

South Korea, and no one comes close. They've won 42 golds in Asian Games archery history and 83 medals of all colours. The next closest? 8 golds and 25 overall for Japan.

In fact, this domination is not limited to a continental level. South Korea won five of the six golds available in the sport at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

India have won 10 medals in the sport at the Asiad, with only one being gold: the men's compound team of Verma, Chauhan, and Sandeep Kumar won in 2014.

What is the difference between recurve archery and compound archery?

Compound archery is not an Olympic discipline and the type of bow used is a more mechanical one compared to recurve bow. The compound bow, invented in the 1960s, uses a levering system of pulleys and cables which makes it faster and more accurate. It also includes a magnified scope for sighting, a release aid which reduces the strength and effort required to pull the strings.

A recurve bow is closer in shape (and nature) to the traditional bows used since the weapon was first invented. Without mechanical aid, it's the archer's strength that makes the bow work. Recurve archery is an Olympic discipline.