Following Pravin Jadhav's better performance over Atanu Das in the Tokyo Olympics Ranking Round, the Archery Association of India (AAI) has decided to opt for Pravin Jadhav as Deepika Kumari's partner for the mixed team event beginning on Saturday morning.
Speaking to Indiatvnews.com, AAI general secretary Pramod Chandurkar confirmed that their selection committee unanimously decided that Pravin is a better candidate to partner with Deepika in the final on his current form.
The decision still raises some eyebrows as Atanu Das, who married Deepika during the pandemic last year, has been a successful pair at the world stage with a medal at the World Cup Stage III in Paris last year while Pravin is participating in his first Olympics.
However, the senior official said that the federation felt Pravin proved his worth with performance.
"The committee unanimously agreed that Pravin should pair Deepika in the final as Atanu's form has been not up to the mark off late and that reflected in the ranking rounds today," Chandurkar said. "The rules do allow us to change the pair if we want to but we firmly believe Pravin should play instead," he said.
Pravin finished the ranking rounds (72 arrow-round) with an aggregate of 656, and when his sum is combined with Deepika's 663 in the women's individual ranking round, the total of 1319 places them 9th in the ranking. Atanu, on the other hand, finished the ranking event with 653 points.
Deepika-Pravin will now face Chinese Taipei in the round of 32 on Saturday and if they win, they are likely to face the event's hot favourites South Korea in the next round.