Gold Rush for India at Asian Archery Championships
India added three gold medals and two silver medals to end their Asian Archery Championships campaign in Bangkok on a high on Saturday. In individual categories, compound archers Rajat Chauhan and Jyothi Surekha Vennam struck gold while the men’s compound team too clinched the yellow metal. The women’s compound team and the women’s recurve team had to remain content with the silver.
This is India’s sixth medal from this tournament. Just a few days back, Deepika Kumari and Jayanta Talukdar had teamed up to pick up the bronze in the mixed recurve section.
Rajat Chauhan continues brilliant run
Rajat Chauhan, who became the first Indian to win an individual medal at the World Championships, carried his stellar form into the continental meet. The 14th seed upset the fourth-seeded Korean Choi Yong Hee via a shoot off after both had scored 145 in the gold medal contest.
Chauhan had entered the final on the back of another upset victory in the semi-finals as he beat the second seed and Asian Games gold medallist Esmaeil Ebadi 150-149.
Chauhan’s teammate Abhishek Verma had earlier lost in the quarter-finals. Verma, who recently grabbed the silver medal at the Archery World Cup Finals, went down 145-147 to the top seed Kim Jongho.
Jyothi Surekha shines again
19-year-old Jyothi Surekha Vennam made it double delight for the Indian compound archers on Saturday as she too brought home the gold. Eighth-seeded Surekha defeated 15th seed Afsaneh Shafielavijeh of Iran 141-137 (28-28, 28-27, 30-26, 29-28, 26-28).
The Asian Games bronze medallist had caused a huge upset in the last-eight stage as she edged past the top seed Song Yun Soo of Korea via a shootoff after they were tied at 142 apiece.
Compound men’s team wins India’s third gold
The compound archers continued with their confident display as the team of Abhishek Verma, Rajat Chauhan and Sarvesh Pareek combined to stun the top seeds Korea 234-233 in the final. The Korean team comprising Kim Jongho, Yang Youngho and Choi Yong Hee were neck-to-neck with India as both the teams were tied at 117 after two sets.
But Korea faltered in the third set as they mustered only 57 while India came up with 59 to inch ahead. Even though, the Korean archers regrouped well to shoot 59 in the final set, it was not enough to overhaul India who shot 58 to take the gold.
Compound women’s team falters in final
India’s golden run in compound archery, however, came to an end in the women’s compound team final as they succumbed to the top-seeded Koreans. The Indian trio of Jyothi Surekha Vennam, Jayalakshmi Sarikonda and Swati Dudhwal were edged out 232-234 by the Korean troika of Song Yun Soo, Kim Yun Hee and Seol Dayeong.
In a very tight contest, the two teams were level at 175 after three sets. But in the final set, the Indians could only shoot 57 while Korea hit 59 to grab the gold.
Women’s recurve team settles for silver
In the only recurve final involving Indian archers, the Deepika Kumari-led women’s team had to settle for silver as they lost 3-5 to the top-seeded Korean trio of Chang Hye Jin, Hong Sunam and Lee Tuk Young. The third-seeded team of Deepika Kumari, Laishram Bombayla Devi and Laxmirani Majhi were tied at 3-3 with the Koreans at the end of the third set.
But the final set proved to be disastrous for the Indians as they managed to shoot just one 10 and totalled only 55. The Koreans, on the other hand, totalled 57 and took the gold.
Earlier on Friday, the Indian men’s recurve team had lost the bronze medal contest to third seeds Chinese Taipei 4-5 in a shoot off.