Archery World Cup: After the high of equalling WR, Deepika Kumari exits in quarter-finals
- Deepika was just one of three Indians who could make it to the quarter-finals in the individual competition.
A day after the high of equalling Olympic champion Ki Bo Bae’s world record in the qualification round, India’s star archer Deepika Kumari’s campaign in the individual recurve competition of the Archery World Cup Stage I in Shanghai ended in a whimper on Thursday. The top-seeded Indian bowed out in the quarter-finals after a 4-6 loss to ninth seed Jager Maja of Denmark.
Besides the 21-year-old, Laxmirani Majhi and Jayanta Talukdar were the only other Indians to make it as far as the last-eight stage as India’s challenge ended on a disappointing note in the individual section.
The former World No. 1 Deepika, who had a bye in the first two rounds by virtue of being seeded first, performed brilliantly in her opening couple of rounds. After blanking Tschalova Veronika Haidn of Germany 6-0, she thrashed China’s Yuanyuan Cui 7-1 to advance to the quarters.
But it was there that she faltered as Maja managed to edge past her 25-30, 28-27, 28-26, 28-29, 28-27 and subsequently went on to advance to the bronze medal play-off.
Majhi and Talukdar made it to the quarter-finals too
Deepika’s compatriot Majhi caused a number of upsets, the most significant of which was the ouster of the fourth-seeded Russian Ksenia Perova in a shoot-off in the pre-quarter-finals. But she could not sustain that brilliance in the next round as she went down 2-6 to fifth seed Ya-Ting Tan of Chinese Taipei.
On the men’s side, 13th seed Jayanta Talukdar, a former World Cup gold medal winner, brought his experience to notch up four wins before his run was ended by Wei Chun-Heng of Chinese Taipei 4-6.
It was the same Taipei archer who ousted another Indian, Atanu Das. The 12th seed succumbed to Heng 2-6 in the pre-quarter-finals.
Among the others, both Mangal Singh Champia and Rahul Banerjee failed to win even a single round.
Compound archery: Abhishek Verma loses to World No. 1
In compound archery, Paonam Lily Chanu, who had attained the best ranking amongst all Indians during qualifications, saw curtains coming down on her campaign in the last-16. The 10th seed suffered a narrow 146-147 defeat to Mexican World No. 5 Linda Ochoa-Anderson.
She was the standout Indian performer of the day from the women’s compound section as her teammates all crashed out in their opening matches.
The Asian Games silver medallist Abhishek Verma was handed a tricky draw as he had to face the in-form Dutch superstar and World No. 1 Mike Schloesser in the pre-quarter-finals. With the moniker of ‘Mister Perfect’, the Dutchman had turned in a dream performance during the qualifications on Wednesday that saw him breaking his own ranking round world record.
Naturally, he was always supposed to be a tough proposition for any opponent. Verma fought valiantly against his illustrious rival but came up short by a fraction, 148-149.
From his teammates, Gurwinder Singh was the only one who could match him as he finished with a 141-146 loss to South African Seppie Cilliers in the same round.
The team matches in Shanghai are scheduled on Friday. The Indian men’s recurve team has been placed third while their women counterparts are fourth. In compound archery, the men are seventh while the women hold the sixth position.