India's Bhajan Kaur celebrates after winning the Final Olympic Qualifier. WORLD ARCHERY

Eight Olympic spots were up for grabs in the women’s individual recurve event at the Final Olympic Qualifier in Antalya, Türkiye and seven countries — Azerbaijan, India, Iran, Moldova, Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine— gained their first women's quotas for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games with the final spot to be decided via world ranking.

The gold was captured by India, who had two athletes go through to the quarterfinals, with 18-year-old Bhajan Kaur beating top seed Mobina Fallah of the Islamic Republic of Iran 6-2 in the final. Third seed Kaur began her campaign with byes in the first two rounds before beating Mongolia’s Urantungalag Bishindee 6-2 in the third round and Slovenia’s Urska Cavic 7-3 in the fourth round. Ankita Bhakat also made the quarter-finals minutes before Kaur did. Kaur and Bhakat were part of the Indian trio that won the Hangzhou Asian Games women’s team recurve bronze last year. 

"I'm very happy that today I could win the gold medal and Olympic quota for India. I will definitely try in the Paris Olympics to win a medal,” Kaur told World Archery after her win. 

Despite the successes of Kaur and Bhakat, the Indian men’s and women’s recurve teams faced early exits: after losing to Mexico and Ukraine respectively. 

Slovak Denisa Baránková also qualified for her second Olympic appearance. The 22-year-old is a double-silver medallist in the European Field Archery Championships and is the first Slovak archer to ever qualify for the World Games, representing her country in the Birmingham edition. 

"Wow, I'm so happy. We thought we had to shoot one more shoot-off so this is a real surprise to us … I already had my lucky arrow prepared and I'm so happy it worked out," said Baránková of her qualification. 

Iran hopes to put up a strong show in Paris after Mobina Fallah played one of the best matches of her career. Despite losing out to Kaur in the final, the Iranian secured her spot in the Olympics by ranking, beating Kazakhstan's Avdeyeva Yelizaveta to advance to the tournament's top eight. Fallah, Baránková and Kaur are joined by Ukraine’s Veronika Marchenko, Moldova’s Alexandra Mirca, Poland’s Wioleta Myszor and Azerbaijan’s Yaylagul Ramazanova.