Silver lining for men’s recurve team

Antalya, April 23

The Indian men’s recurve team clinched a silver medal after losing to China by the thinnest of margins in a shoot-off at the Archery World Cup Stage 1 here today.

In pursuit of their first gold since 2010, the men’s recurve team comprising Tarundeep Rai, Atanu Das and Dhiraj Bommadevara bounced back from 0-4 deficit to level the scores and force a shoot-off. But the Indian trio went down 4-5 (54-55 50-56 59-58 56-55 28-28*) as the Chinese team of Li Zhongyuan, Qi Xiangshuo and Wei Shahoxu hit an X (closer to the centre) in the shoot-off in a dramatic finish.

Dhiraj then went on to grab a second medal in his World Cup debut when the 20-year-old armyman defeated Ilfat Abdullin of Kazakhstan 7-3 (28-28 29-26 28-29 29-27 29-27) to bag bronze in the individual recurve section.

Dhiraj would regret missing out on silver as he squandered a 4-0 lead against Dan Olaru of Moldova to go down 6-4 (27-26 28-27 28-29 26-28 28-30) in the semifinals.

India thus ended with two gold, one silver and bronze from the event.

Second wind

In hindsight, the team would rue its pathetic second set where it totalled just 50 out of a possible 60, after hitting the red rings thrice (one 7 and two 8s) as China won by six points to take a 4-0 lead.

India had a slow start and China took the first set by a slender one-point margin.

It was only in the third set the team bucked up to drill in a series of five 10s, including three Xs. China then cracked under pressure in the fourth set which India won by a one-point margin.

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