The Indian Archery contingent at the Rio Olympics 2016 started their journey today with the ranking rounds. While Atanu Das starred in the men’s event, finishing 5th among 64 archers, the Indian women trio of Deepika Kumari, Bombayla Devi and Laxmirani Majhi faltered after a bright start and were not able to get a respectable seeding, which could have helped them in the upcoming rounds.
The importance of Ranking Round
In the Ranking Round, all the 64 archers in each category (men’s and women’s) take part. Every archer has to shoot 72 arrows, in groups of six, and the rankings are decided after the culmination of the round. Archer with the maximum number of points is given the Rank 1 and so forth.
The ranking round helps in deciding the line-up for the next round, the round-of-64. The top-ranked player will face the 64th rank, 2nd ranked against the 63rd ranked and henceforth. The round-of-64 is followed by the round-of-32, pre-quarterfinals, quarterfinals, semifinals and the final.
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This round also helps in deciding the seeds for the team events. There are a total of 12 teams in each men’s and women’s event and every team comprises of three players each.
The scores of all the three players from the ranking round are aggregated to form a total score for every team, according to which they are given respective seeds. The top-4 seeded teams are given a bye to the quarterfinals, whereas the other eight teams fight it out among themselves for the remaining four spots.
What it means for Indian Archers
Atanu Das, the sole male representative from India in Archery, finished fifth in the Men’s Ranking event with a total score of 683. Due to such a high seed, the West Bengal-born archer will have to face the athlete who finished 60th in the ranking event, Nepalese archer Jitbahadur Muktan.
This will help Atanu in going a long way at the Games, as he will have a relatively easy path till at least the quarterfinals. However, this is not the case for Women’s archers as they managed to let a good start turn into a sour ending and they will now have to work really hard if they plan to bring a medal back home.
For the female archers, on the other hand, the going might not be as easy as they would’ve hoped of. Deepika, who finished at the 20th position, will have to face the archer who finished 45th in the event, Kristine Esebua of Georgia. Bombayla, who managed to achieve the 24th seed will face the 41st ranked archer, Austrian archer Laurence Baldauff and Laxmirani, who finished 43rd will face Slovakian international Alexandra Longova, who finished 22nd.
For the Indian Women’s team, the ranking scores of all the three archers are aggregated which comes to 1892. This score helped them manage a seventh-place finish. According to the format, the teams finishing in top four in the Ranking Round are given a bye to the quarterfinals, and the rest of the eight teams fight it out against each other to qualify for the remaining 4 places in the last-8.
According to the draw, the Indian team will face 10th placed Colombia to decide who qualifies for the quarterfinals. Given the capability of the Women’s team, Colombia might be an easy opponent, but it’s the individual event where they might suffer.
Had the Indian women archers managed a higher finish, their path to the latter rounds of the Games would have been comparatively easy. However, it was not meant to be and now they’ll have to give it their all in their quest of winning a medal and making the nation proud.Published 06 Aug 2016, 00:02 IST