Antalya, April 24
India bagged its second gold medal at the Archery World Cup Stage 1 as the recurve mixed team of Tarundeep Rai and Ridhi Phor came from behind to defeat the team from Great Britain in the shootoff here today.
Pairing up for the first time ever, two-time Olympian Rai and Haryana teenager Ridhi trailed twice but held their nerve to close out the tie 5-4 en route their maiden gold medal.
India concluded the campaign in the first event of the year with two gold medals, the first coming through the compound men’s team of Abhishek Verma, Rajat Chauhan and Aman Saini on Saturday.
Incidentally, this was the first-ever mixed team medal in the World Cup for the 38-year-old Rai, who won the Asian Games silver in Guangzhou in 2010. For 17-year-old Ridhi, this was her first-ever World Cup medal as the duo showed amazing character to come back twice and seal the issue in the shoot-off with two 9s. The British duo of Bryony Pitman and Alex Wise shot 9 and 8 in the tiebreaker.
It was a disastrous start for the new-look Indian pair as they shot the red-ring twice (for 8, 8) to lose the first set by two points. But the Indians were able to level the score in the second set, thanks to two below-par rounds (7, 8) by the British pair.
The third set was a high-scoring affair as Rai and Ridhi shot 39 out of 40, but their rivals went one better, drilling in a perfect 40/40 with two Xs (closest to the center) to push the Indian duo behind once again .
Not ready to give up, Rai and Ridhi shot two 10s to put pressure on their rivals in the fourth set. The British pair misfired in the red ring once, sending the match into a shootoff. The Indians then closed the match by winning the shootoff 18-17.
Abhishek-Muskan fall short
India’s mixed compound team of Abhishek Verma and Muskan Kirar made it to the bronze medal match but fell short.
In the men’s individual recurve, only London 2012 Olympian Jayanta Talukdar could make the top eight. Tarundeep Rai lost in the Round of 32, Sachin Gupta crashed out in the Round of 64, while Neeraj Chauhan was eliminated in the opening contest.
On the other hand, the women’s individual recurve competition saw Ridhi reaching the Round of 16. Komalika Bari lost in the Round of 32 while Anikta Bhakat and Simranjeet Kaur could not go past the first round.
The compound archers also struggled, with only Rajat Chauhan and Priya Gurjar making the top eight in the men’s and women’s individual events, respectively. Asian Games gold medalist Abhishek Verma was ousted in the Round of 32.
The recurve teams (men and women) and women’s compound team could also not reach the medal rounds. – Agencies