Archery World Cup: Atanu Das, Deepika Kumari sail into semifinals in recurve event

Atanu Das and Deepika Kumari (L) have made it to the semifinals at Archery World Cup Stage 1
Atanu Das and Deepika Kumari (L) have made it to the semifinals at Archery World Cup Stage 1
Kaushiik Paul

Newly-married archery couple Atanu Das and Deepika Kumari made it to their respective recurve semifinals at the Archery World Cup Stage 1 in Guatemala City on Thursday.

India also has a chance to earn a medal in recurve mixed team category after Atanu and Ankita Bhakat lost in the semis and made it to the bronze medal play-off.

Coming into international action after more than a year, Atanu and Deepika produced some stellar performances on the day to defy all odds. Atanu struggled initially but bounced back to defeat Eric Peters of Canada 6-4 at the Sports Complex Los Arcos.

Earlier, Kolkata-born Atanu defeated Oscar Ticas of El Salvador 6-4 before getting the better of compatriot Pravin Jadhav by an identical scoreline.

Atanu will next face Angel Alvarado of Mexico in the Archery World Cup semifinals on Sunday. The Kolkata archer is aiming for his first individual medal at the Archery World Cup.

Among other Indians in the fray, B Dhiraj lost to Spaniard Daniel Castro while Mexican Angel Alvarado beat Tarundeep Rai.

“I’ve been working for so many years, and I’m finally showing some progression,” Atanu told World Archery after his quarterfinal. “It would be great to win and to see Deepika do the same. It is a good start. I’m working on myself, on my mental side and I think this is helping me a lot to perform well.”

Deepika Kumari stuns 2012 Games silver medalist Aida Roman in Archery World Cup

In the women’s recurve segment, Deepika looked confident throughout the competition. She first downed Kelsey Lard of the USA 6-0 in Round 2 before overcoming London Olympics silver medalist Mexican Aida Roman via shootoff 6-5 (10-9).

The World No. 9 then got the betterr of German Michelle Kroppen to set up a semi-final clash with Alejandra Valencia of Mexico. American Mackenzie Brown and Madalina Amaistroaie of Romania are the other two archers in the last-four.

“I had too many thoughts in my mind, and all I wanted to do was to concentrate, to focus and control my mind. My first match wasn’t that good, and I feel like I didn’t give it all. I feel so nervous still, but good as well,” Deepika told World Archery.

Atanu Das-Ankita Bhakat face USA for Archery World Cup mixed team bronze

Meanwhile, Ankita exited the Archery World Cup after losing to Alejandra Valencia of Mexico 2-6 in the quarterfinals. Earlier, she had defeated France's Laurena Villard 7-3 in the pre-quarterfinals and Karen Juliana Rodriguez Sepulveda of Colombia 6-0 in Round 2.

Komalika Bari and Madhu Vedwan too lost their matches to Mexicans Valentina Vasquez and Aida Roman respectively in Round 2 to bow out of the event.

Meanwhile, the duo of Ankita and Atanu will face the USA in the bronze medal play-off at the Archery World Cup on Sunday. The duo lost to Mexican pair Ana Vasquez Angel Alvarado in a shoot-off in the semi-finals.

Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
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