Farmer’s son strikes historic silver at Youth Olympic Games

A farmer’s son creates history at the Youth Olympic Games 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. 15-year-old Akash Malik has become India's first silver medal winner in Archery, providing a fitting finale to the country's laudable campaign at the marquee event.

Akash who hails from Umra village in Haryana lost a one-sided final to USA’s Trenton Cowles by 0-6 on 17 October. With Akash’s silver, India concluded with - 3 gold, 9 silver and 1 bronze at the event that was started in 2010

Seeded 5th after the qualification, Akash was inconsistent in the summit fight against the 15th seed Trenton, who only shot in 10s and 9s to wrap it up effortlessly. In the 3-setter, both the finalists shot 4 perfect 10s, but the Haryana boy’s two wayward 6s in the first and the third set proved to be the decisive factor.

Talking to media, country’s new champ said, "I feel good but I lost the gold medal.” Akash entered archery 6 years ago after a physical-trainer-turned-archery-coach Manjeet Malik selected him during a trial. Manjeet said, "He was very calm and composed and I thought he could shoot arrows steadily. He now shoots with confidence. It was raining as well when the final started."

Four years back, Akash was part of the recurve boys squad that had won gold at the mini national (under-14) archery competition in Vijayawada. He has also won a gold medal at Asia Cup Stage-I, 2 bronze in Asia Cup Stage-II and 1 silver, 1 bronze in the South Asian championship, in past one year.

Akash who also owns a private academy with around 80 students said "It's indeed a proud moment for me and all the hard work is now paying off.” He is presently enrolled by the Olympic Gold Quest and trains under Kim Hagyong from South Korea at the Army Sports Institute in Pune.

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