The Indian women’s recurve team comprising Deepika Kumari, Komalika Bari and Ankita Bhakat reached the final of the women’s recurve team event at the ongoing Archery World Cup Stage 3 in Paris on Friday. The Indian trio will be up against Mexico for the gold medal.
The progress is bitter sweet for India. Just last week the same Indian team bowed out of the Tokyo Olympics 2020 qualifier, losing to lowly-ranked Colombia in the Archery Olympic Qualifiers.
The women’s team beat Mexico in the World Cup Stage 1 in Guatemala City for the gold medal. India did not participate in the second stage as they were unable to travel due to restrictions arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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India, seeded second, got a bye in the first round and came out all guns blazing, taming Spain and Turkey with a 6-0 scoreline in the second round and quarterfinals respectively. It looked as though Deepika Kumari, Komalika Bari and Ankita Bhakat were keen on proving a point, especially after last week’s debacle.
Indian archery team on the money
In the semifinal, India got the better of France 6-2. India started well in the first set amassing 57, including two ten-pointers and one shot on the ‘X’, also a 10-pointer. The French recurve archery team – Lisa Barbelin, Audrey Adiceom and Angeline Cohendet – came a cropper with their first shot managing only five. Hence, catching up on the set became very difficult for them. India continued to match shot to shot with a superior score and in the end, France could only muster 51 in the first set.
The second set started well for India but France did a little better than the first. However, the French lost steam midway through the set and India wrapped up the second set with an identical scoreline of 57-51.
The Indian archery team slipped a bit in the third set when their first shot could only give them seven points while France consistently upped the ante. Matching shot for shot, France did not let the momentum shift and held on to the slender lead they had with a host of nine-pointers and a 10-pointer to pip India by a solitary point at 55-54 to stay alive in the contest.
However, the Indian archery trio could put no foot wrong in the fourth set, shooting on target with nine pointers and 10 pointers. France’s first shot for seven did them no good as they could only muster 54 to India’s 56.
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In the second semifinal, Mexico beat USA 28-26 in a shootout after the teams were tied on 4-4 at the end of four sets. In the shootout, Mexico scored 9,9, 10 while USA could only manage 8,9,9 to bow out in the last four.
The Indian men’s recurve archery team bowed out in the quarterfinals, losing to top seed Germany 5-4 in the shootout. In the shootout, Germany scored 27 while India fell short by one point to finish on 26 and bow out of the Archery World Cup.
The Indian compound archery teams had a horrid day with both men’s and women’s team losing to France. The men lost in the quarterfinals to France 29-25 while the women were routed in the first round.
India will now take part in two archery finals with Deepika Kumari slated to be a part of both the finals, one with husband Atanu Das in the mixed recurve team and the second with the women’s recurve team.