Indian players achieved remarkable success in the tournament.

Star Indian archers Deepika Kumar and Atanu Das finished the first stage of Archery World Cup 2021 with Gold medals in the recurve men’s and women’s individual events respectively in Guatemala City.

Both Indian archers are now automatically qualified for this season’s Archery World Cup Final.

In the semifinals, Deepika defeated Mexico’s Alejandra Valencia. She avenged the loss of teammate Ankita Bhakat in the process. Meanwhile,  Mackenzie Brown beat surprise finalist Madalina Amaistroaie of Romania in a shoot-off. The final went to a tiebreak, too.

The World No. 6 was 3-1 up after two sets but saw that lead vanish after Brown evened the match with a 29 in the third and a 28 in the fourth. Deepika held her ground in the fifth as she hit a 29 to tie the score at 5-5. It all came down to one arrow shoot-off to determine the champion.

The Indian archer shot first and hit a nine. Her arrow was about one centimetre out of the 10-ring to the right. Brown’s arrow was far from the 10th ring. That little distance gave Deepika a gold medal at the Archery World Cup.

Deepika remarked, “It’s been a long time since I shot in the finals. It feels great and at the same time, I’m happy and nervous. It gives me confidence and pushes me to give better performances. The most difficult part was the heart-beating sound. It made me really nervous.”

Gold for Atanu Das

On the other hand, Atanu Das’ victory was also impressive as he won his first-ever Archery World Cup men’s individual recurve Gold. He had one wild set of 26 points in his semifinal against Mexican archer Angel Alvarado. Trailing after three sets in the final against Spain’s Daniel Castro, Das flicked a switch. 

He closed with a 29 and a 30 – shooting his last 10 before his opponent had finished, putting the match out of reach. Atanu’s happiness was impossible to keep inside as he punched the air.

Das stated, “It feels amazing. It’s like dreams are coming true. I’ve worked so hard for so many years and now this is paying off. It’s beautiful. It’s a big boost for me. The Olympics are this year and I’m working in the right way.”

Mexican duo Alvarado and Valencia won bronze medals in the men’s and women’s events, respectively. The recurve finals brought the opening stage of the 2021 Archery World Cup in Guatemala City to a close. The international circuit will return in three weeks for its second stage in Lausanne, Switzerland.

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