A little over a year ago, the Indian women’s archery team which was expected to excel at the London Olympics failed miserably even while a couple of their less fancied counterparts went on to finish on the podium.
But the current side led by Deepika Kumari seem to have put the failures of the past behind them, winning back-to-back world titles.
Days after their triumph in Medellin, Colombia, the trio of Bombayala Devi, Deepika Kumari and Rimil Buriuly won the fourth stage of the World Cup in Wroclaw (Poland) yesterday.
But what’s more significant here is that the Indians beat archery superpower Korea 219-215. The latter were the clear favourites to win the title, as the trio of Yun Ok-Hee, Ki Bo Bae, and Joo Hyun Jung had not shot anything less than 222 against United States, Italy and Russia in their elimination matches. There was little to choose between India and Korea with the score tied at 163-163 at the end of round three.
The wind played its part in the contest as archers on both sides shot an odd 7.
Ki Bo Bae opened the final end with a disappointing 6. The next two arrows for Korea were 9 and 9.
India responded with three 10s to wrest the advantage going into the last six arrows. The Koreans managed 9-8-10 before the Indians came up with 10-10-7, winning the end 56-52 and thus the match and the title of World Cup Stage 4. The World Cup Finals will be held next month in Paris.
In the run up to the final, India had dominated the range with victories over Indonesia (217-216), Mexico (211-202) and finally Denmark (214-206) in the semi-finals to open the door for their second straight gold medal.
Denmark were the surprise bronze medallists with a 210-194 win over Russia. Meanwhile, the men’s team of Tarundeep Rai, Jayant Talukdar and Priyank continued their miserable run to make a quarterfinal exit after losing to the USA 221-222.
Indian compound men trio of Rajat Chouhan, Sandeep Kumar and Abhishek Verma made a prequarters exit going down to their South African opponents by one point (232-233).
The women’s compound team of Trisha Deb, Lily Chanu Paonam and Jyothi Surekha Vennam also made a last16 exit after bowing to the Russians 224-226.