Akash Malik became India’s first silver-medallist in archery at the Youth Olympic Games being held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The 15-year-old son of a farmer lost a one-sided final to Trenton Cowles of the USA 0-6 as India concluded the youth Olympics with three gold, nine silver, and one bronze.
Seeded fifth after qualification, the Haryana-boy was inconsistent in the summit clash against the 15th seed Cowles, who only shot in 10s and 9s to wrap it up easily on Wednesday night. In the three-setter, both the archers shot four perfect 10s, but Akash’s two wayward 6s in the first and the third set proved to be the decisive factor. The summit clash was held under windy conditions following light rains.
Akash took up archery six years ago after Manjeet Malik, a physical-trainer-turned-archery-coach, picked him during a trial. Akash is currently enrolled by the Olympic Gold Quest and trains under South Korean coach Kim Hagyong at the Army Sports Institute in Pune.
In 2014, Akash was part of the recurve boys team which won a gold medal at the mini national (under-14) archery championship in Vijayawada. Akash went on to clinch a gold medal in the Youth Olympics qualifying event last year.
He also won a gold medal at Asia Cup Stage-I, two bronze in Asia Cup Stage-II and a silver and a bronze in the South Asian championship, in the last one year.