India’s Deepika Kumari has been given the pride of place in this year’s World Cup finals to be held on Saturday and Sunday at the Hibiya Park in Tokyo Competition in recurve bow section will be held on Sunday.

The 18-year-old National recurve champion, who had a disappointing outing at the London Olympics, will get a chance to redeem her reputation in a classy field. She will go into the finals as the top seed where the eight best-ranked archers are in fray. The World Cup ranking is based on points earned on four legs. Deepika was the runner-up to Chinese Cheng Ming at last year’s final in Istanbul.

The Indian will take on the host’s Mike Kanie (No. 8 seed) in the quarterfinals and play the winner of Jennifer Nichols of the US (seed No. 5) and Kristina Timofeeva of Russia (No. 4) contest in the semifinals. Two Koreans, a Mexican and a Chinese Taipei archer are in the other half.

Dola Banerjee is the only Indian to win this crown at Dubai in 2007 where the field had only four archers. Deepika and her coach Purnima Mahato, who were practising at Jamshedpur, left for Tokyo on Tuesday.

World Archery announced that Alejandra Valencia of Mexico and Lin Chia-En of Chinese Taipei would replace Fang Yuting and Xu Jing of China. The two Chinese had qualified but were barred by their National federation from travelling to Tokyo.

The Chinese Archery Federation secretary informed World Archery on September 17, “in view of the current Sino-Japan diplomatic relations, I’m very sorry to inform you that Chinese delegates are not going to attend the World Cup finals because of security concerns.”

In view of the pull out the next best two archers were asked to join the competition. Paralympics gold medallist Danielle Brown of Great Britain replaced Olga Bosch of Venezuela in compound women. The latter pulled out owing to a family problem.

The following countries will participate in the finals: Italy, Korea, Germany, Mexico, Great Britain, Russia, the Netherlands, France, the United States, Ukraine, India and Japan.

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