Indian Archers Strike Gold


The Men’s Compound Archery team with their Gold Medals

India’s wait for the elusive second gold medal finally ended with a spectacular show from Indian archers who returned with a gold, a silver and two bronze medals. But what made the biggest news was the stunning display from the Indians to upstage South Korea 227-224 in the men’s compound archery team final.

In the individual competitions, Abhishek Verma picked up a silver while Trisha Deb bagged a bronze. The women’s compound archery team also won a bronze to make it a memorable day for Indian compound archers.

The men’s compound archery team

Even though compound archery has never been a part of the Asian Games before, the Koreans, simply for their stellar records in archery were the favourites. So it was quite surprising to see the normally stoic archery masters blink under pressure at their home ground in Gyeyang Asiad Archery Field.

India’s compound archery team has been among medals this year. Rajat Chauhan has been a silver medallist at the Antalya leg of the World Cup in the men’s compound individual category while Abhishek Verma has been a silver medallist in the mixed compound team at the Wroclaw leg of the World Cup. The quiet confidence of the Indians was palpable.

Abhishek Verma who led the team along with Sandeep Kumar and Rajat Chauhan displayed tremendous composure under pressure to calmly deliver 10s and pile the pressure on the hosts. The pressure increased for the Koreans after Min Lihong’s wayward shot which was a 7 and thus gave a huge advantage to India in the final end.

Even though the hosts had 13 10s and the Indians 12, it was the excellent consistency of the Indians that brought home the historic gold.

The women’s compound archery team

Earlier, the women’s compound archery had delivered India’s first medal of the 8th day of the Games by winning the bronze. The Indian team comprising Trisha Deb, Purvasha Shende and Surekha Jyothi, shot 224, while Sakineh Ghasempour, Maryam Ranjbarsari and Shabnam Sarlak of Iran could only muster 217.

Individual compound archery

Abhishek Verma – Abhishek Verma who had been in scintillating form at the Incheon Games carried on in the same vein in the individual event and reached the final. In the final, Abhishek had a blistering start of four consecutive 10s but a falter midway saw him settle for silver versus Esmaeil Ebadi of Iran. Esmaeil Ebadi beat Verma 145-141 after a calm display under pressure. Ebadi had shot 10 perfect 10s while Verma ended with just eight. In the semi-final, Abhishek Verma had beaten Malaysia’s Muhammad Zaki Bin Mahazan 143-135.

Trisha Deb – Trisha Deb’s bronze came in a more dramatic fashion. Trisha’s opponent Huang I Jou of Chinese Taipei had looked headed to clinch the bronze when a wild miss in the penultimate arrow swung the momentum back in the Indian’s favour. Trisha won the match 134-138. Earlier Trisha had lost her semi final to Seok Jihyun of Korea 140-145.

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