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Olympics 2021 archery: Historic win for India as Atanu Das beats 2012 Olympic gold medallist Jin-Hyek to clinch pre-quarterfinals berth

Atanu Das beats 2012 Olympic gold medallist Jin-Hyek to clinch pre-quarterfinals berth
Atanu Das beats 2012 Olympic gold medallist Jin-Hyek to clinch pre-quarterfinals berth
FEATURED WRITER

India’s Atanu Das stormed into the men’s individual archery event pre-quarterfinals of the Olympics 2021.

Atanu stunned Korea’s Oh Jin-Hyek 10-9 in a shoot-out in the men's individual archery second round match on Thursday. The Korean archer is a former Olympic champion, winning gold at the 2012 London Olympics. The game was an intense encounter as the final winner was decided by bare minimum margins.

In the shoot-out, Jin-Hyek went first to score 9 and Atanu Das, taking his time for a solid release, shot with surgical precision to score 10 to stun the third seed.

Atanu Das will meet Japan's Takaharu Furukawa in the next round.

The first set belonged to Jin-Hyek, who led Atanu Das by one point in the second arrow. The duo then matched shot to shot with a plethora of 9s in the next two sets to share the spoils.

In a must-win fourth set, Jin-Hyek scored a 7 and a 6 giving Atanu Das a much-needed opening, which the Indian accepted with glee. A flabbergasted Jin-Hyek was unhappy with his poor performance. Atanu Das, staying composed, scored a 10 to win the fourth set with a huge margin of 27-22 to draw level on four points each.

The fifth set was nail biting. Deepika Kumari’s loud cheers for Atanu Das seemed to bring the best out of him as he matched Jin-Hyek’s scores of 10, 9 and 9 to force the shootout.

Check Out: Tokyo Olympics 2021 Schedule

Atanu Das keeps his cool to beat Yu-Cheng as well

Earlier, Atanu Das held his nerve to beat Deng Yu-Cheng of Taipei 6-4 in a thrilling first round match.

The duo traded the first four sets, matching shot to shot. There was very little to separate the archers as they were on the money at all times.

Also read: India at Olympics: Deepika Kumari's next archery match [July 30] schedule and details

The decider was a nerve-wreaking set. After both the archers scored 19 with their first two shots, Yu-Cheng fluffed the all-important third arrow to only score a 7. This left Atanu needing to score 8 or more to win the match and progress to the next round.

The Indian took a little time to release and although the biometrics showed a heartbeat rate of 163 BPM, Atanu Das managed to score an 8 to pip Yu-Cheng.

It was, however, Yu-Cheng who remained composed throughout. The Taipei archer had his shots in control by taking a lot of time for the release. Atanu, contrary to his last shot, was quick to aim and shoot the target – a ploy which gave him mixed luck.

After winning the first set, Atanu should have wrapped up the second but instead gave Yu-Cheng the advantage.

Atanu Das was leading by one point at the end of two arrows and Yu-Cheng scored a perfect-10 with this third, leaving Atanu to score a 9 or a 10 to wrap up for a 4-0 lead. The Indian, however, went haywire for an 8 and handed over the set to his opponent.

This gave Yu-Cheng an opening, but he couldn’t capitalize on it, scoring a poor 7 pointer in the third arrow of the next set after the duo restored parity with the first two arrows. Atanu pounced on the opportunity and kept his cool to score a 9 to win the set and wrest the advantage back.

Yu-Cheng was superior in the fourth set throughout, leading his opponent and forcing the decider, but it was the Indian who stepped up when it mattered to advance to the second round.

Also read: From living in a hut to defeating World No. 2 in Olympics: Archer Pravin Jadhav shines for India on the biggest stage

Edited by Diptanil Roy
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