Compound archers deliver after recurve players' poor show, assure at least 2 silver
By Amanpreet Singh
Jakarta, Aug 26 (PTI) India were today assured of at least two silver medals from archery in the Asian Games after its men and women compound teams advanced to the final by prevailing over Chinese Tapiei in both the semifinals here.
The Indian men are the defending champions and they lived up to their reputation by getting the better of Chinese Taipei 230-227 in an edge-of-the-seat semifinal.
The trio of Abhishek Verma, Aman Saini and Rajat Chauhan were slow to get off the blocks before getting their act together to prevail 57-57, 56-57, 55-58, 59-58 in the four-set encounter.
The Indian men, who had earlier defeated Qatar (227-213) and Philippines (227-226) on way to the semi-finals, will play archery powerhouse South Korea in a repeat of the 2014 Incheon Asiad title clash.
The first (57-57) and fourth (59-59) sets ended on equal scored and it was the third set (58-55) which sealed the issue in India's favour as the team scored three more points than their opponents after the second set (57-56) handed India a one-point lead.
Earlier in the day, Indian women's compound team bettered their last Asian Games performance by entering the summit clash, where it will also face South Korea.
The team, comprising Jyothi Surekha, Madhumita Kumari and Muskan Kira, too, edged out Chinese Taipei 225-222 in another thrilling semi-final to advance to the gold medal match.
The team made a remarkable comeback after losing the first sets to edge out the Chinese Taipei team 55-58, 55-57, 57-55 58-52.
The Indian women had earlier defeated hosts Indonesia 229-224 in the quarter-finals.
India had won a bronze medal in the 2014 Asian Games.
The two medals from the compound teams have come as a welcome relief for the Indian archery contingent after the recurve archers drew a blank from the Games.
"It is extraordinary to come back from a five-point deficit. Our women team is world number one and it has shown why," an elated India's compound coach Jiwanjot Singh Teja told PTI.
"It's a huge result for us. We can say that after recurve archers lost, there was pressure of expectations on compound archers. Also, since they did away with the individual events, our players were fired up to win medals in team event," he added.
About the men's compound team, Teja said, "We had told the boys you have to back each other. If one hits a bad arrow, quickly forget that and give your best in the next shot. They covered each other well and that was key,"
Asked to name six archers who stood out today, Teja said, "Jyoti Surekha was excellent today in the women team and Rajat Chauhan really backed the teammates well in the men's team."
Now both the teams face powerhouse South Korea on Tuesday but Teja said the Indian archers were not intimidated.
"We beat them in the Asian Championship to win gold last year. No one comes to lose. And more than winning and losing, it's about sportsmanship