Asia Cup Stage 2: Indian men's compound archers win team gold
What's the story?
The Indian men’s compound archery team capped off their fantastic campaign at the 2017 Asia Cup - Stage 2 with a gold medal as the tournament came to an end at Bangkok, Thailand on Saturday. The third-seeded trio of Shivansh Awasthi, Robert Singh Keithallakpam and Aman Saini edged the top-seeded Iran, 231-230 in the final to emerge champions.
After remaining tied at 58 in the first set, the Indians held their nerve to produce an identical score in the second set while Iran faltered and scored only 56. In the third set, even though the Indians trailed Iran by a solitary point, their fourth set scores were similar again.
That helped India complete the improbable victory by just a single point.
The men’s compound archery team was not the only Indian medal winner at this event. The women’s recurve team also added to the medal tally by clinching the silver. The team of Ankita Bhakat, Promila Daimary and Sakshi Rajendra Shitole finished second best to the top seeds Chinese Taipei when they went down 0-6 in the final.
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This competition was also a qualifying event for the World Games that is to be held at Wroclaw, Poland from July 20-30 this year.
The heart of the matter
The men’s recurve team also had a chance to be among the medal winners but they ended up fourth after losing their bronze medal bout. The trio of Gajanan Shukmani Babrekar, Sachin Gupta and Pravin Jadhav succumbed to a 3-5 defeat to Kazakhstan.
The women’s compound team, in contrast, could not be anywhere near the medals. Despite earning a fourth seeding, the journey of Jyothi Surekha Vennam, Mrinal Anil Hiwrale and Divya Dhayal ended in the quarter-finals when they lost 221-224 to fifth seeds Iran.
The top Indian archers are gearing up for the 37th Senior National (Recurve & Compound) Archery Championship that is scheduled to be held at the Haryana State Sports Complex in Faridabad, Haryana from March 26-30.
Indian archery has been consistently performing at various events for the past few years. The emergence of Atanu Das, who finished an impressive ninth at Rio on his Olympic debut, showed that Indian archery is not just about Deepika Kumari anymore.
Now these results at the Asia Cup Stage 2 establish even further that the future is bright for the sport in the country.