Archery World Cup: Indian men’s, women’s compound teams eye gold in Shanghai

Shanghai, Apr 24 (PTI) The Indian men’s and women’s compound archery teams assured the country of a podium finish by nailing down final berths in the season-opening Hyundai Archery World Cup here on Wednesday.

The fourth-seeded men’s team comprising the experienced Abhishek Verma, newcomer Prathamesh Bhalchandra Fuge and reigning U-21 world champion Priyansh defeated the Philippines and Denmark before displaying ominous form to upset top qualifiers South Korea to book a title showdown against the Netherlands on Saturday.

The Indian women, who are the reigning world champions and seeded No.1 here, set up a title clash with Italy, defeating Turkey and Estonia to confirm their status as the leading side in the category.

The trio of reigning U-18 and senior champion Aditi Swami, Asian Games gold-medallist Jyothi Surekha Vennam and Parneet Kaur dropped just 10 points through the two matches to confirm their superiority.

The Indian men’s team created a major upset defeating Korea by just two points at 235-233. Tied at even after two ends, the Indians grabbed a point after the third and finished with a 59 to secure the final spot.

“Our coordination was good today and we read the wind well,” said Abhishek after the nerve-wracking semifinal contest against the Koreans.

“The semifinals are always tight matches. We were prepared to shoot well and happy to make it to gold,” he added.

An elated Priyansh said after the match against Korea that he was thrilled to be competing against the strong opponents, who he had so far seen only on social media.

“We played alongside players that we used to watch on YouTube,” said Priyansh, who trains with Abhishek in Delhi. “We could have shot even better,” he added.

The Indian women’s team defeated Estonia 235-230 and Aditi attributed the performance to the process the side has been following for long.

“We maintained our shooting process and it worked well,” said Aditi.

“I hope we can repeat the success of the World Cup in Paris last year where both the Indian men and women won the team gold medals.” The squad here is without their charismatic Italian coach Sergio Pagni, who is currently in the national camp back home.

India’s opponents in the final, Italy, overcame Kazakhstan in a semifinal shoot-off after the scores were tied at 227 points.

The 10th seeded Dutch men also won a tie-break — against France — to book their ticket to the final.

Mike Schloesser, Sil Pater and Stef Willems shot three perfect X-ring 10s, compared to their opponents’ standard 10s, to survive the match.

Kazakhstan’s women and the Korean men’s team secured bronze medals at the end of the session.

Source: PTI News


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