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India women archers lose to Ukraine in Final Oly qualifier

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Indian eves now rely on rankings for Paris quota

Antalya (Turkey), June 14: The Indian women’s recurve team of Deepika Kumari, Bhajan Kaur and Ankita Bhakat squandered their lead to suffer a shock 3-5 loss to lower-ranked Ukraine in the pre-quarterfinals of the Final Olympic Qualifier here on Friday.
Having qualified as fifth seed, India got a bye into the pre-quarters and needed two wins in the elimination round to seal the Paris Olympic team quota place.
The four semifinalists in the women’s recurve section get team quotas.
But the world No. 8 India, who are 10 notches above Ukraine in the global rankings, put up an atrocious display to blow away a 3-1 lead and went down 3-5.
The inexperience of Bhajan and Ankita cost India dearly as the duo lost composure and shot in the seven-point red ring once each in the drawn first set.
India managed to bounce back with a superior second set where all of them shot nine each before Deepika landed a perfect 10 to take the second set.
But in the third set, Bhajan once again dropped her arrow to the seven-point ring that helped Ukraine level three-all going into the fourth set.
India needed a draw in the fourth set to take the match to shoot-off, but this time they shot twice in the eight-point red ring – one each by Bhajan and Deepika – as Veronika Marchenko, Anastasia Pavlova and Olha Chebotarenko edged them out by two points and seal their quarters berth.
The men’s team qualifying event will be held on Saturday and will see stiff competition among 46 teams for just three available quotas..
India women’s team can still qualify
The Indian women’s recurve archery team, however, still can make the cut for Paris Olympics via rankings.
As per a new amendment to the qualification rule, the top-two nations in World Archery Rankings, who did not make the cut from the Qualifiers, will make the cut before the Games.
The Indian women’s team are currently ranked No 8. South Korea, Germany, France, Mexico, USA, who are ahead of India in rankings, have already qualified.
World No. 2 China and No. 7 Chinese Taipei are the two nations ahead of India.
But they are in the quarterfinals of the Final Olympic Qualifier here, and thus one win away from a team quota.
Should they get the team quota, India will be firmly ahead in the rankings race to get a team quota. (PTI)

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