Verma & Co win successive World Cup archery gold, Bhardwaj clinches silver

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Verma & Co win successive World Cup archery gold, Bhardwaj clinches silver
spogonews
2022-05-21 06:39 PM
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Gwangju (South Korea), May 21 (Archery News) The Indian men's compound archery team on Saturday came from behind to prevail over France by two points in an intense finish to win the gold medal in successive World Cup stages.

Unheralded Mohan Bhardwaj also shared the limelight as he stunned reigning world champion Nico Wiener en route to winning a dream World Cup individual silver medal as Indian compound archers outshone their much-fancied recurve teammates.

A day after the Olympic discipline recurve archers ended their campaign with a solitary bronze (in women's team event), India bagged one gold, one silver and one bronze in the compound section on Saturday to end their World Cup Stage 2 campaign with five medals.

That the compound archers bagged one gold, one silver and two bronze from India's total medal count of five summed up their dominance compared to the TOPS-supported Olympic discipline recurve archers.

India began the day with the men's compound team dishing out a superb fightback to prevail over France 232-230 to win the gold medal.

In a repeat of the Stage 1 final, the fourth-seeded men's team, comprising Abhishek Verma, Aman Saini and Rajat Chauhan, found itself trailing against its sixth-seed rivals in the first two ends.

But riding on an immaculate finish in the third end the trio sealed a 232-230 win over its French counterparts Adrien Gontier, Jean Philippe Boulch and Qentin Baraer to win the World Cup Stage 2 gold.

In the last World Cup final at Antalya in April, the same Indian trio had defeated France by one-point.

"It's our second consecutive win (this season). We were the best in Turkey and we proved it again. We are very happy about that," Verma said.

"We know the strategy of France and we know their potential. We changed our strategy after the third round and it helped up," Chauhan pointed out.

Verma went on to win a second medal when he along with Avneet Kaur pipped higher-seeded Turkey's Amircan Haney and Ayse Bera Suzer 156-155 to win the bronze in the mixed team event.

For Kaur, this was her second bronze having won a team bronze in the women's event earlier.

Starting off with 39-all, the sixth-seeded Indian duo trailed by two points in the second end (77-79) with its fourth-seeded rivals shooting four 10s including three Xs (closer to the centre).


Verma and Kaur narrowed the deficit to one point in the third end shooting 39/40 and finished off in style with a perfect fourth end -- four 10s, including one X.

Later in the day, world number 223 Bhardwaj, who made his World Cup debut only last month, conjured up the biggest win of his career when he shocked his world number 7 Austrian opponent 143-141 in the semifinal en route to claim a silver.

Trailing by two points after first two ends, the 32-year-old, who won a silver at this year Senior Nationals, produced a remarkable comeback by winning the third with two 10s to level it 85-all.

Having fallen behind by one-point in the fourth end, Bhardwaj finished it off in style with three 10s.

The Uttarakhand archer's dream run finally ended in the final by none other than Dutch world number one Mike Schloesser (141-149).

This was his first individual medal at the international stage. Bhardwaj had won his maiden international medal, a team silver, at the Bangkok Asian Championships in 2019.

Qualified as a lowly 42nd seed, Bhardwaj packed off the Australian duo of Patrick Coghlan (146-144) and Scott Brice (146-143) in the first two rounds. The 46-year-old Slovakian world No. 12 Jozef Bosansky, who qualified as seventh seed, became the victim of Bhardwaj's giant-killing act in the pre-quarterfinals (149-145).

Bhardwaj then ousted local favourite Yang Jaewon 147-140 to make the last-four.

In the men's compound team final, France started off with a 57 in the first end. Verma shot in the red ring (8) with his second arrow but Saini and Chauhan showed perfect team bonding to finish with two 10s to make sure the deficit was just one point.

Both teams shot identical scores of 58/60 in the second end. India stepped it up with three 10s in their second set of arrows as France also matched them to retain their overall one-point lead.

Shooting first as they trailed in the third end, India showed tremendous resilience to turn it around with three 10s as their under-pressure French rivals shot a couple of 9s to fall behind.

Showing calm nerves, the Indian trio sealed it with another round of three 10s to make it 60 out of 60, while their opponents managed just 56 as India turned the tables from a one-point deficit to a three-point cushion (174-171) going into the decisive fourth end.

It was all about not doing anything silly as the Indian team capped it with four 10s to make it 58, against the French trio's 59 but that was not enough as the Indian compound men's team won their second gold of the season. 


Also Read : Archery World Cup Stage 2: Indian women's team wins recurve bronze

News Source : PTI