India’s only male recurve archer at the Rio Olympics 2016 – the 24-year-old Atanu Das – provided the lone bright spot for the country as the women archers led by the former World No. 1 Deepika Kumari flattered to deceive in the ranking rounds on Friday. This non-elimination round played at the Sambadrome was essential in determining the seedings and who the archers will get to face when the knock-out stages commence.
In his debut at the mega quadrennial games, the youngster from Kolkata, put up an admirable show especially after a slow start. From a lowly 24th position, the World No. 22 hauled himself up to fifth with 683 points after some remarkable shooting in the last four out of the total 12 rounds.
Das had been India’s most consistent archer of the season and his medals from the Shanghai and the Antalya World Cup vindicate it further. Thus it was no surprise that he went on to snatch such a high ranking.
His tally of 59 (10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 9), 58 (X, X, 10, 10, 9, 9), 59 (X, X, X, X, 10, 9) and 58 (X, 10, 10, 10, 9, 9) were what helped him to make such an impressive improvement. Das will now take on the Nepalese archer Jitbahadur Muktan in the Round of 64 of the knockout stage on Tuesday.
Deepika Kumari & Co. squander a bright start
The illustrious women archers, who had won the silver medal at the 2015 World Championships, put up quite a miserable show after many had picked them as probable medallists. The trio of Deepika Kumari, Bombayla Devi and Laxmirani Majhi went off to a flying start with the World No. 12 Kumari even outshining the formidable Korean duo of Choi Misun and Chang Hye Jin to lead the table after five rounds.
But the 22-year-old failed to keep up the momentum and slid badly from then on and could never recover enough to get back inside the top 10. The former top-ranked player ultimately finished at the 20th spot with a tally of 640. A miss in the seventh round and a paltry 5 in the 10th round contributed to the free fall as Deepika unbelievably shot below 50 scores thrice.
Her teammates too did not fare any better. Bombayla Devi’s performances too fluctuated and after securing a position as high as 8th, she too plummeted to end up at 24th with 638.
Both women paid the price for very poor displays in the second half. While Deepika’s first and second half scores were 329 and 311 respectively, Bombayla Devi could muster 327 and 311 in the two halves.
The only Indian archer who had a reverse of this was the third woman of the trio – Laxmirani Majhi. She had a disastrous start to be placed at 54th at one stage before making a marginal improvement to hold on to her final ranking of 43rd. Her points total was 614.
That gave the Indian women’s recurve team a ranking of seventh with 1892 points and denied them a straight entry into the quarter-finals. India will begin their knock-out competition against Colombia in the pre-quarter-finals on Sunday.
Kim Woojin creates world record on a great day for South Koreans
While the Indians failed badly, the mighty Koreans delivered just what was expected of them. Men’s recurve World No. 1 Kim Woojin stole the show on Day 1 with a staggering effort that created a world record. The 700 that he scored out of a possible 720 is the first time ever that any recurve archer has managed to total 700 or more in the history of the sport.
On the women’s side too, the Koreans dominated. World No. 1 Misun and World No. 2 Hye Jin expectedly recovered from their slow starts to grab the top two places. They totalled 669 and 666 respectively. The defending women’s individual gold medallist Ki Bo Bae of Korea was right behind them at the 3rd place riding on a score of 663.
With a massive 1998, the Koreans finished at No.1 in the team rankings.Published 06 Aug 2016, 01:05 IST