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Just enjoy and shoot: Pagni's tips to Indian compound teams

43   //    27 Aug 2018, 17:09 IST

Kolkata, Aug 27 (PTI) Two-time Archery World Cup Final winner Sergio Pagni said the Indian compound teams should not get bogged down by expectation and enjoy shooting when they face South Korea in the finals tomorrow at the 18th Asian Games.

Both the Indian men's and women's compound team will be under pressure after the country failed to win any medal in the recurve section, in a repeat of their Incheon Asiad flop show.

Asian giants Korea are standing in the way of both men's and women's teams in the compound finals tomorrow and Pagni, who coached the Indian compound archers in the build-up to the Asian Games, says it's about living in the moment.

"Maybe the statistics are in favour of Korea, but India have a very good balance between young and experienced hands. They can do very well," the 39-year-old told PTI from Legnica on the sidelines of day one of the European Archery Championships.

"The only thing that I want to remind them is to 'enjoy'. During a final it is very important to find a way to stay together and enjoy. Enjoying is a very efficient way to get success," said Pagni, who spent two weeks training the archers at SAI training centre in Sonipat earlier this month.

The 39-year-old Pagni, who is keeping a tab of his wards from Poland, further cited example of India's loss to unfancied Iran in the mixed pair quarterfinal.

Seeded second, Abhishek Verma and Jyothi Surekha Vennam led 78-77 at the midway stage but the seventh seeded Iranians nosed ahead with a perfect third end to clinch the issue 155-153.

The compound competition in Jakarta is limited to just team and mixed team events as individual sections have been scrapped.

India had returned with four medals, all from compound section, at the Incheon Asian Games.

"Past records matter little. They lost against a better score. It's not about India. At times, you have to face a team that score the best without expectation. Remember the same Iran scored just 138 in the next match (losing to Chinese Taipei in the semifinals)," the left-handed archer said.

The men's compound team are the defending champions in the ongoing Asian Games with Abhishek Verma and Rajat Chauhan being the two members of the gold-medal winning trio in Incheon.

The women's compound team, on the other hand, are currently world number one with Jyothi Surekha Vennam as the sole member of the bronze-medal winning team in 2014.

Pagni didn't want to predict any result, saying it will come down to mental strength.

"It's difficult to say -- both are very strong teams. India women team are world number one, something that the Koreans are aware of and they have to manage this," he said.

"The men's team are much more experienced, but a gold medal match is about mind focussing, and Indians are very strong at this."

The second-seeded women beat Indonesia in the quarterfinals and then Chinese Taipei 225-222 in the semifinals to set up the final with Korea.

India's men -- who also are seeded second -- scraped through a quarterfinal against the Philippines, winning that match by just a point, before beating Chinese Taipei by four in the semifinals.

The gold medal matches will not be easy, with Korea's compound teams being top seeds and the highest-scoring trios in matchplay.

Pagni said the weather -- the wind factor -- could play a role in the outcome.

"It's an important factor during the final matches. We have worked on this and it would be same for both the teams. It's about who shoots the best tomorrow. I keep writing to them because I want to make them feel that 'I'm with them'," he signed off

Press Trust of India (PTI) is a news agency in India
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