India archers stun South Korea to win gold in Asian Championship
Indian compound team stunned heavyweights Korea in the final to clinch the gold medal at the 18th Asian Archery Championship in Chinese Taipei today.
The Indian trio of Abhishek Verma, Ratan Singh Khuraijam and Sandeep Kumar won a hard-fought contest against the Korean trio of Lihong Min, Yong Hee Choi and Jongho Kim 233-231 to open their account in the Asian meet.
The Indian compound trio showed their consistency right through the qualification round, in which they totalled 2086 points, to be ranked No.1 after they got a bye in the pre-quarters. In the quarters, India ousted Iraq 231-221 while hosts Chinese Taipei faced the elimination going down 220-232.
Congratulating the team on its success, Archery Association of India (AAI) president Vijay Kumar Malhotra said, "This year is entirely dedicated to compound archers in view of their brilliant performance in all international competitions attended during 2013 which is a good sign for the preparation of ensuing 2014 Asian Games, Incheon where Compound event has been included for the first time."
"It is for the second time when our team has won the Asian Champions Title in compound men category. Compound men and women teams won gold and silver medals respectively and I R Sanam occupied the top slot on the podium in the 16th Asian Championship, Bali in 2009 which was the best ever results achieved by compound archers," he added.
India had a second medal hope in the women's compound team event but Lily Chanu Ponam, Jyothi Surekha Vennam and Trisha Deb went down to Korean trio of Bomin Choi, Ji Hyun Seok and So Jung Youn 217-222. Lily Chanu set a new (unofficial) Asian Championship record in 50 metres distance in compound event by scoring 351 points, which is just three points behind the world record of 354.
In the recurve section, both the men's and women's teams made a quarter-final exit. India's next hope would be in the individual section. The medal events will held on the final day on November 2.