Sunday, May 19, 2024

India shock Oly champions Korea to bag historic gold


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Shanghai, April 28: Indian men’s recurve team of Dhiraj Bommadevara, Tarundeep Rai and Pravin Jadhav shocked reigning Olympic champions South Korea in a historic win to land an Archery World Cup gold medal after 14 years, here on Sunday.
This triumph over the archery powerhouse in well over a decade also comes as a boost to their chances of securing a berth in the upcoming Paris Olympics.
The trio of Dhiraj, Tarundeep and Pravin showed ice-cool composure to get the better of mighty Koreans without dropping a set.
The 40-year-old Army man Tarundeep was also a part of the gold medal-winning team in Shanghai World Cup Stage 4 in August 2010.
Then the recurve team comprising Rahul Banerjee, Tarundeep and Jayanta defeated Japan.
In a battle between the top-two seeds of the competition, India won 5-1 (57-57, 57-55, 55-53), taking their gold medal count to five in the season-opening Stage 1 World Cup.
The success also rubbed on the recurve mixed team of Ankita Bhakat and Dhiraj who trounced Alejandra Valencia and Matias Grande of Mexico 6-0 (35-31, 38-35, 39-37) to win bronze.
On a comeback trail after missing the whole 2023 after becoming mother in December 2022, Deepika Kumari faltered in the final hurdle to settle for a silver in the women’s recurve individual section.
The former world No. 1, who started from the bottom after qualifying as the 30th seed, eliminated two Koreans in the quarterfinal and semifinal.
But in the final, Deepika lost to Hangzhou Asian Games champion Lim Sihyeon in straight sets 6-0 (26-27, 27-29, 27-28).
Deepika had a poor start in the title round, with her second arrow landing in the seven-point red ring.
Rising 20-year-old Lim dropped just one point to take the second set and sealed the gold without much fuss.
Overall, India returned with eight medals – five gold, two silver and a bronze – from the global showpiece.
So far, India have a solitary Olympic berth which was earned by Dhiraj in the men’s individual section.
The final Olympic qualifying event is the Stage 3 World Cup in Antalya, Turkey, from June 18 to 23 following which the team rankings will offer two additional quotas for the first time.
The two highest-ranked nations, who did not make the cut from the Qualifiers, will receive team berths for Paris from the World Archery rankings.
India (231 points) are now third in the world rankings behind China (241) and No. 1 South Korea (340) and are well-placed to make the Paris Olympics cut. (PTI)


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