This was the duo’s first tournament since the Tokyo Olympics debacle.

Ace Indian archers Deepika Kumari and Atanu Das fell short at the Archery World Cup Final on Friday in Yankton, USA. Both of them suffered losses in the semi-finals of the tournament.

Deepika Kumari’s quarter-final opponent was Svetlana Gomboeva of Russia. After a tie in the first set, Deepika won the following two sets to open up a 5-1 lead. Despite losing the fourth set and a tie in the final set, the Indian emerged victorious 6-4 in the match.

She faced yet another Russian participant, Elena Osipova, in the semi-finals. The 27-year-old went on to lose the opening two sets and then drew the following two. A 6-2 scoreline crushed her hopes of reaching the final.

However, Deepika had one final chance to make amends at the bronze medal match. Up against Michelle Kroppen of Germany, the Indian archer once again started poorly. A defeat in the first two sets put her back against the wall. A tie in the third set and two consecutive set wins meant the scores were tied at the end. Eventually, it would come down to a shoot-off to determine the podium place at the Archery World Cup.

Kroppen shot a nine, giving Deepika the opportunity to win the match. Over the years, Deepika’s struggles during crunch situations is not a secret anymore. Once again she floundered, shooting a poor six to draw the curtains on her medal hopes.

Atanu unable to deliver another magic moment

In the men’s category, Atanu Das was making his maiden appearance in the Archery World Cup Final. He faced the challenge of German Maximilian Weckmueller in the quarter-finals. Atanu lost the first set before winning three consecutive sets to book his place in the semi-final. A comfortable 6-2 victory was registered by the Indian.

The 29-year-old faced a much more stern test against Brady Ellison in the semi-final of the Archery World Cup. Atanu conceded the first two sets once again, leaving him in a limbo. He responded brilliantly by hitting three successive bullseyes to win the third set. However, the American made a memorable comeback by shooting a perfect-30 in the fourth set to clinch the contest 6-2 in his favour.

In the bronze medal match, Atanu Das locked horns with Tokyo Olympics gold-medalist Mete Gazoz. Atanu was nowhere near his best, as he suffered a heavy defeat. He lost all three sets to bow out of the Archery World Cup with a 0-6 defeat to the Turkish champion.

Elsewhere, the only Indian compound archer participating in the Archery World Cup Final was Abhishek Verma. Verma was up against Braden Gellenthien of the USA in the quarter-finals. The Indian archer went behind right from the start and was unable to mount a comeback. Ultimately, Verma suffered a 142-146 defeat against eventual silver-medalist Gellenthien.

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