Indian men’s recurve archer Mangal Singh Champia kept alive his hopes of qualifying for Rio Olympics as he reached the last-32 stage in the individual competition at the World Archery Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark on Wednesday.
Among the Indian women recurve archers, Laxmirani Majhi was the star of the show as she came through two shoot-offs to secure her place in the last-32 in the individual section.
Mangal Singh Champia – the only Indian men’s recurve winner of the day
Former Asian Games bronze medallist Mangal Singh Champia brought the smiles back to the Indian men’s recurve archery contingent after the ouster of his compatriots Jayanta Talukdar and Rahul Banerjee in the first round.
The 59th seeded Indian registered a 7-3 victory over the 54th seeded Brazilian Rezende Xavier Daniel to advance to the second round. His next opponent was the giant-killing Kazakh Mussayev Sanzhar, who had caused a major upset in the first round by stunning the reigning Olympic champion Oh Jin Hyek. Champia had no problems against the Kazakh and he posted another 7-3 win to progress into the last 32.
On Thursday, Champia needs to win against the 22nd seeded Spaniard Alvarino Garcia Miguel to have an opportunity to book his Rio berth.
Jayanta Talukdar and Rahul Banerjee, however, found it tough in the blustery conditions and crashed out in the first round. While Talukdar went down 2-6 to Canadian Lyon Jay, Banerjee surrendered 0-6 to Boardman Ernesto Horacio of Mexico.
Laxmirani Majhi impresses
Laxmirani Majhi showed nerves of steel to advance to the last-32 stage in two tie-breaks. The Indian, seeded 52nd, overcame Frenchwoman Thomas Solenne 6-5 in the first round with the tie-break score being 9-8 in Majhi’s favour.
She then put up an excellent show against the former World No. 1 and Olympic medallist Valeeva Natalia. With a tie-break score of 9-7, Majhi edged past the Italian archer 6-5 to book her place in the last 32.
Rimil Buriuly, on the other hand, succumbed to a 0-6 defeat to Belarusian Dziominskaya Karyna in the first round.
Former World No. 1 Deepika Kumari is the other Indian women’s recurve archer still in contention in the individual competition. The 21-year-old got two byes and begins her campaign in the Round of 32 against the 25th-seeded Chinese Qi Yuhong on Thursday.
Rajat Chauhan advances in compound section
30th-seeded Rajat Chauhan started with a 144-139 win over Einarsson Gudjon of Iceland. He then scored a narrow victory over Hugarian Orosz Viktor in the tie-break to set up a showdown with the third-seeded American Gellenthien Braden on Thursday.
The other Indian in the fray on Wednesday – Kawal Preet Singh – lost 136-139 to Australian Timms Robert in the second round.
Top-seeded Abhishek Verma, meanwhile, has got two byes and begins his challenge on Thursday against the 33rd-seeded British archer Ravenscroft Adam.
Disappointing results in women’s compound section
With the exit of Purvasha Shende and Lily Chanu, Vennam Jyothi Surekha is left as the only Indian standing in the women’s compound section. The eighth-seeded Surekha will begin her quest for a medal on Thursday after receiving two byes. Her first opponent is 25th-seeded Norwegian Grydeland Runa.
On Wednesday, Lily Chanu won a round before succumbing to Mexican Ochoa Linda 133-141 in the second round. Purvasha Shende, however, failed to get past the first round and went down 128-136 to much lower-seeded Aparecida Ferrari Oliveira Larissa of Brazil.