Archer Ridhi Phor is used to being on top. After all, the Haryana lass spends a lot of time on the terrace of her Karnal home, practising her art with targets set up by her father Manoj Kumar. On Sunday, she made it to another top, winning the Recurve Archery for girls in the Khelo India Youth Games.
“I owe my success to my father,” she said, dedicating the gold to him. Ridhi was a studious girl. She got hooked to archery when her father brought the sport home, setting up facilities on their terrace and providing her with competition-type bows and arrows.
Manoj Kumar didn’t know much about archery but he was fascinated by it. He researched long and hard to personally groom Ridhi as there were no coaches in and around Karnal. Ridhi made her Khelo India debut in 2018 but failed to make it to the semifinals. In 2019, she lost to Amanpreet Kaur in the bronze medal play-off in 2019. In 2020, she won the bronze.
Finally, in 2021, the World No. 47 won the gold, adding to Haryana’s tally as the hosts desperately looked to regain their position at the top of the table. A Khelo India scholar since June 11, 2018, the 2020 National Junior silver medallist is among the band of Recurve archers in the development group of the Target Olympic Podium Scheme. The hard-working Ridhi has the motivation, hunger and talent to succeed. She has already won 10 international medals, including as part of the team which won the World Cup Stage 1 gold this year.Ridhi’s first big medal came in the 2012 Under-14 Nationals in Vijayawada. In her first international competition, as a 14-year old, she won the women’s recurve and mixed recurve team bronze medals in the Asia Cup Stage 2 in Manila in 2018.