Indian men's archery team bags Olympic quota, women misfire
Den Bosch (The Netherlands): Indian men's recurve archery team secured the Olympic quota for the 2020 Tokyo Games by storming into the quarterfinals of the World Championships but there was heartbreak in store for the fancied women's side here on Wednesday.
The men's team of Tarundeep Rai, Atanu Das and Pravin Jadhav put up a superlative show, posting a 5-3 win over Canada to secure three-athlete quota for the first time since the 2012 London Olympics.
At the 2016 Rio Olympics, India had an individual entry in Das, who had made a prequarter-final exit.
"We finally made it. We are gelling well as a team and looking forward to Tokyo now. This is the moment to keep going for 2020," two-time Olympian Rai, a member of the London Olympics, said. But it turned out to be a day of contrasting fortunes for the women's recurve team as senior archer Laishram Bombayla Devi misfired once, while Komalika Bari exposed her inexperience costing them the match 2-6 against lower-seeded Belarus.
The women's team will have a last chance in 2020 World Cup Stage III in Berlin where top three in the secondary tournament will grab the final Olympic quotas.
Blaming luck, the three-time Olympian Bombayla said: "In practice, I was shooting well but there was misfortune and something happened during the competition and I misfired. It could have been an easy win. We will try our best next time."
Bombayla's misfire meant India shot a poor 43 against Belarus' 52 in the first set. In the second set, Bombayla and Komalika shot 3 and 5 and it proved too much for Deepika Kumari, as they lost 44-52 to trail 0-4. The trio finally came good in the third set winning it 53-51 to make it 4-2 but Karyna Kazlouskaya, Karyna Dziominskaya, Hanna Marusava sealed the issue 6-2 with a 53-51 win in the fourth set.
Indian team in the women's compound section, which is a non-Olympic category, entered the quarterfinals with a commanding 236-226 win over France. Led by Muskan Kirar's outstanding display, India women's compound team (2099 points) finished third in the ranking round behind Colombia (2111) and Korea (2101) and advanced directly into the pre-quarters.
The 19-year-old from Jabalpur shot 54 perfect arrows which included 24 times X (closest to the centre) for an overall score of 701 points over the 72-arrow 50-metre ranking round.
Having finished in the top-eight, Muskan Kirar got a bye into the round of 32 in the individual section. 29th seed Abhishek Verma, Bhagwan Das (35th) and Rajat Chauhan (88th) of men's, and Jyothi Surekha Vennam (17th) of women's advanced to the round three in the compound section.
India also remained in the medal fray in the compound mixed pair event where Verma and Muskan entered directly into last-16 with a top eight finish in the ranking round.
India face Germany in the compound mixed pair pre-quarterfinals. Compound men's team, who got a 14th place in the ranking, defeated their Spanish opponents 235-229 in the first round but only to end their campaign after
losing to third seeded Turkey 234-238.