Archery World Cup Finals 2018: Deepika Kumari and Abhishek Verma end season with bronze medals
Former World No. 1 Deepika Kumari bagged the bronze in women’s recurve in dramatic fashion. The 24-year-old held her nerves to prevail over the Rio Olympic silver medallist Lisa Unruh 6-5 after the contest went into a shoot-off. The two were tied at 5-5 on conclusion of the five ends, following which both produced a 9.
Kumari was declared the winner as her arrow was deemed closer to the centre.
This is Deepika’s fifth medal from the prestigious year-ending World Cup Finals. She has previously earned four silver medals in 2011-2013 and last year as well.
The medal will be a balm for the wounded Deepika. The ace archer suffered from a bout of dengue right before boarding the flight to Jakarta, which hampered her performance at the Asian Games. It led to a pre-quarter-final defeat for Kumari.
The weakness necessitated a break of 15 days after the Asian Games. At the World Cup Finals, Deepika was without the national recurve coach, Dharmendra Tiwari as he was indisposed. Even though she found the going difficult without the coach, she managed to motivate herself and deliver under pressure.
It will probably go a long way in helping to boost Kumari’s confidence levels and self-belief. Known to succumb to nerves in major competitions, Kumari’s mental fragility hasn’t allowed her to flourish as much as she is expected to.
Kumari can thus draw strength from this win as from the fact that she defeated the very player who had stopped her in Jakarta. She defeated Lei Chien-Ying of Chinese Taipei to start her campaign and then lost her semi-final 3-7 to Turkey’s Anagoz Yasemin.
Deepika had got a chance to compete at this event by virtue of winning the gold medal at the Salt Lake City World Cup in June.
Verma sizzles in Turkey
A day earlier, Verma put up a stunning display to bag the bronze medal in men’s compound archery. The 29-year-old knocked out the defending champion Braden Gellenthien 10-9 in a tense shoot-off to begin his challenge in this eight-man field, after they were locked at 144 each.
The eventual winner Demir Elmaacacli then beat him 147-145 in the semi-finals. In the bronze medal play-off, Verma shocked Korea’s Kim Jongho 149-147 to take home the medal.
Verma then teamed up with Jyothi Surekha Vennam to get the silver medal in the mixed team category, that was purely an exhibition event this time.
This was Verma’s second medal from the World Cup Finals to add to the silver he won in 2015. The Arjuna awardee was a part of the silver medal-winning men’s compound archery team at the Asian Games this year.