Great wall of China in recurve archers’ way to golden glory

Antalya, April 20

India stormed into the final of the men’s recurve team event for the first time in nine years after registering three wins in the ongoing archery World Cup Stage 1 here today.

The trio of Atanu Das, B Dhiraj and Tarundeep Rai will face China in the gold medal clash on Sunday in pursuit of India’s first gold in the event after 13 years.

Incidentally, it is at the same Mediterranean coastal resort of Antalya where the men’s recurve team had first tasted success in a World Cup back in 2008.

The team of Jayanta Talukdar, Rahul Banerjee and Mangal Singh Champia had defeated their Malaysian rivals 218-215 en route a maiden gold in the World Cup.

Since then, the Indian recurve men’s team has won five gold medals. India last won gold in the event in Shanghai in 2010.

Tough start

The trio had got a first-round bye after qualifying as the fourth seed. They overcame a stiff challenge in the beginning as they defeated 13th seed Japan 5-4 with a 29-28 win in the shoot-off.

The Indians shot two perfect 10s from three attempts (10, 10, 9) to seal the issue in the tie-breaker after both the teams were locked 4-4 (49-52 57-52 54-51 52-57) following four sets of intense shooting.

Thereafter, it was an easy sailing for them — they got past 12th seed Chinese Taipei and the ninth-seeded Netherlands by 6-2 margins to set up a summit clash with second seed China. Netherlands will take on Slovenia in the bronze playoff.

It was an easy outing against Chinese Taipei as the Indians raced to a 4-0 lead before sealing the issue 6-2 (55-54 57-54 51-53 58-56) with four 10s including an X (closer to the centre).

Next up were Netherlands, who were on a high after eliminating top seed and tournament hosts Turkey (6-0), a team that included the reigning Olympics champion Mete Gazoz.

The Dutch raced to a 2-0 lead but the Indians came back strongly to win 6-2 (56-58 57-53 57-55 56-54).

Jyothi in semis

Jyothi Surekha Vennam reached the semifinals of the women’s individual compound event. Jyothi beat Denmark’s world No. 5 Tanja Gellenthien 147-142 in the quarterfinals. The world No. 11 Jyothi will next face Great Britain’s world No. 1 Ella Gibson.

Among the other Indians, Avneet Kaur was eliminated in the third round after a shootoff loss to Colombia’s world No. 3 Sara Lopez, while Sakshi Chaudhary and Aditi Swami fell in the second round. Avneet led 114-113 after the fourth end but Lopez fought back to 141-141 before winning the shootoff 10-9.

In the men’s individual compound section, Rajat Chauhan missed out on a last-4 spot after losing the shootoff 9-10 in his quarterfinal against Slovakia’s Jozef Bosansky. Chauhan also let a one-point lead after the fourth end slip as the final score read 144-all. Ojas Deotale and Prathamesh Jawkar were also eliminated in the quarterfinals.

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