Archery contributed four medals including a historic gold to India’s medal tally at the Asian Games. But while the Indian compound archers dazzled with their golden arrows, recurve archery drew a blank at Incheon.
Compound Archery Success
India’s compound archery team has been among medals this year. Rajat Chauhan was a silver medallist at the Antalya leg of the World Cup in the men’s compound individual category while Abhishek Verma was a silver medallist in the mixed compound team at the Wroclaw leg of the World Cup. So the quiet confidence of the Indians was palpable throughout the archery competition at Gyeyang Asiad Archery Field and it proved to be well founded.
India brought home the Gold in the men’s team event along with a silver in the individual men’s event. The Women team was not far behind with a bronze each in the team and individual events respectively.
Indian Performances in Asiad Archery – Compound Archery Event
Men’s Compound Archery Ranking Event
In the team and individual ranking events, Abhishek Verma, Sandeep Kumar and Rajat Chauhan all finished within top 10 while in men’s team ranking India was 3rd.
Men’s Compound Archery Team Knockouts Event
The men’s team beat Qatar in pre-quarter-finals and Malaysia in the quarters to set up a semi-final showdown with Iran.India beat Iran 231-227 to lock horns with the mighty Koreans in the summit clash.
India Upsets Champions South Korea in the Final
In the final, it was a spectacular show from the Indians to upstage the fancied Koreans to bag a gold medal. It was quite surprising to see the normally stoic archery masters from South Korea blink under pressure at their home ground.
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.
While the hosts had 13 10s and the Indians 12, it was the excellent consistency of the Indians that saw off the Korean team 227-224 and bring home a historic gold.
Men’s Compound Archery Individual Knockout Events
In individual competition, Abhishek Verma who had been in scintillating form throughout the Games, reached the final and picked up a silver. In the final, Abhishek had a blistering start of four consecutive 10s but one poor shot midway through the match saw him settle for silver versus Esmaeil Ebadi of Iran by a score of 141-145.
Women’s Compound Archery Team and Individual Ranking Event
In women’s team and individual compound ranking event, the team was ranked 2nd while Trisha Deb was placed 4th .
Women’s Compound Archery Team Knockouts Event
The women’s team had a tough time in the quarters, edging past Kazakhstan in the shootoff. India put up a brave fight in the semis versus the formidable Chinese Taipei team but were unlucky to lose in a close battle 224-226.
The Indian women regrouped well and delivered a superb show to clinch the bronze by defeating Iran. 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.
Women’s Compound Archery Individual Knockout Event
Trisha Deb won an individual bronze in women’s compound archery. The Kolkata girl’s medal came in dramatic fashion. Trisha’s opponent Huang I Jou of Chinese Taipei had looked set 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.
Recurve Archery Performances
Recurve Archery Team and Individual Ranking Event
In the Men’s section Atanu Das and Jayanta Talukdar were ranked within top 20 in individual ranking competition while the team ranked 6th.
In the Women’s section, Deepika Kumari secured an 8th rank to begin her individual competition while the team was placed 5th.
Men’s Recurve Archery Team and Individual Knockout Event
The Indian men’s team were eliminated in the pre-quarter-finals, losing to Hong Kong. In the individual competition, Atanu Das went the farthest but ended up losing in the quarter-finals to Korean Jinhyek Oh.
Women’s Recurve Archery Team Raises Hopes But Finishes Fourth
The women’s recurve team fared much better than the men and were the only recurve archers to fight for a medal even though they narrowly lost the bronze.
The women’s team began by blanking Uzbekistan 6-0 in the pre-quarters and then they edged past Chinese Taipei 5-4 to enter the semis. The team couldn’t put up any resistance to a strong Korean challenge and lost 0-6 in the semi-final. In the bronze medal playoff, India unfortunately lost a very close encounter against the Japanese 4-5. The match went to the shootoff where India went down 26-27.
In individual competition, Laxmirani Majhi put up the best performance by reaching the last eight stage. Deepika Kumari was a major disappointment as she lost in the pre-quarterfinals.
Summary of Asiad Archery Event
The Indian men’s team of Abhishek Verma, Sandeep Kumar and Rajat Chauhan had to overcome several odds to reach this stage and it is heartening to see their success on the biggest stage for Compound Archery. The temperament and chutzpah displayed by these youngsters in the finals, unnerved the champions, South Korea and helped India win a gold.
The future looks bright for the compound archers but the flip side is that compound archery is still not a part of Olympics. India needs to analyze the results in the Recurve events to ensure that we can have a better chance of winning medals at the Rio Olympics. In particular , one will watch Deepika Kumari’s performance with great interest to see if her great performance in the recent World Cup is replicated in future tournaments.