The women’s recurve team secured the gold medal while the mixed recurve team returned with a bronze medal
It was a great start for the Indian archers as the Women’s team recurve clinched the Gold medal against Mexico in a nail-biting affair at the Archery World Cup finals in Guatemala. The final match between the teams reached the shoot-off and Deepika Kumari came up with a bull’s eye under pressure to brush aside the Mexicans.
The Indian women’s recurve team had top archers like Deepika Kumari, Ankita Bhakat and Komalika Bari and they started the first set brilliantly with 28 points. The Mexicans kept on playing the catching game and finally fell two points short of India’s target of 57. It was a solid start for the ladies but the journey was far from over.
The Mexicans came up with a strong reply as they started the second set with a perfect thirty. India could only manage 26 points and they put the set to bed with another great range of shots. India lost the second set 57-55.
The Indian women started the third set with 26 points but was pipped by the Mexicans by a single point. India finished the third set with 54 points as disappointment started haunting the Indian archers. Mexico took the lead for the first with a score of 56-54.
It was a do or die set for the women’ and they delivered under pressure scoring 29 points. The Mexicans faltered a bit and ended up with 27 points. After some wayward shots by the Mexicans , the Indians came back strongly into the match. They won 56-52 and restored parity with 4 sets each forcing the shoot-off.
With momentum on their side, Ankita started with a nine but the opponents match it. However, the drama unfolded when Komalika could only manage an 8 and the Mexicans take the lead with a bull’s eye. Deepika needed a perfect shot for India to stand any chance at that moment and she delivered under pressure.
Her bull’s eye shifted the pressure on the Mexicans as they could only manage seven in the end. It was Gold for the Indian ladies who produced a great display of composure and aggression at the same time.
Later in the day, Atanu Das and Ankita Bhakat featured in the Mixed team recurve Bronze medal match against the United States. The game started with both teams coming up with 17 points. But the Americans came back with two bull’s eyes to take away the first set.
The Indians did come back strongly scoring a perfect 20 as both Atanu and Ankita started finding their mojo as the Indians equalise by taking the second set.
What looked like another tense game as it reached the third set, the Indians make little work of their opponents as both Ankita and Atanu score a perfect 20 yet again and piled up the pressure on the Americans.
Their opponents crumbled under the pressure of making big shots and finished with 36 points in the third set. There was little hope for the Americans when Ankita struck an 8. Her partner then scored a perfect 10 to take the third set.
The final set saw the Americans crumble as they started with 17 points as the Indians pipped them with 18. The target was set for the Indians and Ankita delivered at the big stage with a perfect 10. Atanu then bagged a a 9 to clinch the bronze ending the first session of the Archery World Cup on a positive note.