GWANGJU (SOUTH KOREA): India’s mixed team of compound archers will be fighting for a bronze medal after its semi-final defeat while the recurve team put up yet another dismal show at the World Cup (Stage Two) here on Friday.
The mixed pair of Abhishek Verma and Avneet Kaur ousted Denmark (157-155), fancied Mexico (156-153) before going down to 10th seed Estonia (156-158) in a close semi-final to end up in the bronze medal play -off round.
The sixth-seeded Indian mixed team will take on fourth-seeded Turkey in its bid to win the country’s third bronze medal from the meet. India have won a bronze each in the women’s compound and recurve team events with at least another silver being assured with the compound men’s team playing the final on Saturday.
It was the same old story for the recurve archers as they once again crumbled against their ‘nemesis’ Koreans to cap yet another forgettable outing — a solitary bronze in the women’s team event. In absence of Olympians Atanu Das and Deepika Kumari, who have been axed, India fielded a new-look mixed team of Tarundeep Rai and Ridhi Phor.
The seventh seed Indian duo, who got a bye into the pre-quarters, defeated 10th seed Japan 5-3 (33-38, 36-36, 38-32, 38-36), but in the next round they lost to Germany 1-5 (37-37, 32-35, 36-37). Making a World Cup comeback after about five years, former individual gold medalist Jayanta Talukdar and his experienced teammate Rai were made to bite the dust against the same Korean opponent Kim Woojin.
The two-time Olympic team gold medalist first ousted Rai 2-6 (27-29, 29-28, 28-29, 27-30) in the pre-quarters. In the quarters, Talukdar started off brilliantly and won the first two sets and raced to a 5-1 lead before losing 5-6 (29-26, 29-27, 28-28, 26-29, 26-27) (10 -X) in the shoot-off.
Talukdar faltered miserably and failed to close out in the fourth set as the Korean made a strong comeback to level it 5-5 before winning the shoot-off by the thinnest of margins. The arrow closer to the center by Woojin determined the winner.
In the recurve women’s individual section, Komalika Bari and Phor’s performance were indicators that they still have a long way to go before being competitive at the highest level. Two-time youth world champion Komalika was the biggest letdown as she made a first round exit going down to Yasemin Anagoz of Turkey 4-6 (26-27, 25-27, 27-26, 23-25, 27-26).
17-year-old national champion Phor was the best among her teammates, making the pre-quarters before being ousted by another Korean — Lee Gahyun — 5-6 (28-27, 28-29, 30-29, 26- 27, 27-27) (8-9) in an intense shoot-off battle.