Asian Games: India's men archers to vie for gold, women bronze

Incheon: Archers Thursday kept alive India's medal hopes in the 17th Asian Games as the men's team qualified for the compound final, assuring at least the silver medal, while the women's team will be fighting it out for the bronze at the Gyeyang Asiad Archery Field here.

In the compound individual category, Abhishek Verma and Trisha Deb qualified for the semi-finals, where a win would assure them of a place in the gold medal match.

The men's compound archery team set-up a final date with South Korea after it beat Iran 231-227 in the semi-finals. The Indian trio of Verma, Sandeep Kumar and Rajat Chauhan managed a total of 15 10s and got a score of 231 from 24 shots.

The Iranian team, comprising Esmaeil Ebadi, Majid Gheidi and Amir Kazempour, had 14 10s for a total of 227. What hurt the Iranians was a poor seven in the second set and an eight in the penultimate shot.

In the other semi-final, South Korea just managed to edge past the Philippines 228-227 in what was a closely contested event. The South Korean team of Yonghee Choi, Lihong Min and Youngho Yang got a total of 12 10s while the Filipino trio of Ian Patrick Chipeco, Paul Marton Dela Cruz and Earl Benjamin Yap had 13 10s.

Earlier in the day, the Indian team defeated Qatar in the round of 16 elimination and then beat Malaysia in the quarterfinal.

The Indian team defeated Qatar 233-218. India had 17 10s and 10 Xs (number of inner 10s) to Qatar's 10 and five, respectively. The Qatar team comprised Khader Abdulqawi Abdurabu, Ahmed Abdulla Alabadi and Abdulaziz Ahmed Alobadi.

In the semi-final, India beat Malaysia 234-229. The Malaysian team of Kin Lip Lee, Muhammad Zaki Bin Mahazan and Mohammed Juwaidi Bin Mazuki got 14 10s and five Xs. India got 18 10s and 10 Xs in their score of 234.

The women's compound archery team will be fighting out for the bronze medal with Iran after it lost the semi-final by a slim margin to Chinese Taipei.

The women's team of Trisha, Purvasha Shende and Surekha Jyothi, shot 224 while the Chinese Taipei team, comprising Ning Meng Wen, I Jou Huang and Ting Ting Wu, had 226. The Indian girls had 11 Xs while the Taipiei team had 13 Xs.

In the other semi-final, Iran went down 222-229 to hosts South Korea. The Iranian team of Sakineh Ghasempour, Maryam Ranjbarsari and Shabnam Sarlak, had 10 Xs in the total of 222 while the Korean girls, Bomin Choi, Yunhee Kim and Jihyun Seok, had 14 Xs in their total of 229.

The Koreans also set a world record during their 238-215 win over Laos in the quarterfinals. Seok, Bomin and Kim combined for 238 points out of a possible 240, beating the previous world mark, held by the US, by two points.

South Korea and Chinese Taipei will be fighting it out for the gold medal Saturday alongside India and Iran who will be contesting for the bronze.

Earlier in the day, India had beaten Kazakhstan in a shoot-off in the quarterfinal to seal the semi-final berth. Both the teams were tied on 223 each and India clinched the match, shooting 29 in the shoot-off while Kazakhstan had 25.

Meanwhile, Verma and Deb also qualified for the semi-finals of the individual compound event. Verma beat South Korean Yonghee Choi 147-142 in the quarterfinals, while Trisha comprehensively defeated Iranian Shabnam Sarlak 142-131.

Verma will next face Malaysian Muhammad Zaki Bin Mahazan while Trisha will take on South Korean Jihyun Seok in the semifinals. A win in the semifinals will assure the Indian duo of a place in the gold medal match.

Earlier in the day, Verma had beaten Mongolian Jamiyangombo Purevdorj 146-144 in the first round and followed it up with a 148-143 win over Vietnamese Tien Cuong Nguyen in the pre-quarterfinals.

Trisha started the day with a 146-140 win over Japan's Yumiko Honda in the pre-quarterfinal. The Indian girl shot 11 10s and four Xs while Yumiko had seven 10s and 5 Xs.

Among other Indians in fray, both Sandeep Kumar and Purvasha Shende lost their quarterfinal encounters. Kumar went down 135-141 to Filipino Paul Marton Dela Cruz while Purvasha was beaten 140-143 by South Korean Jihyun Seok.

Compound archery, a non-Olympic medal event, is making debut at the Asian Games.

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