Shanghai, May 19
India’s compound archery team once again brought the cheers, confirming its first medal from the World Cup Stage 2 even as recurve archers continued to falter here today.
The new-look pair of Ojas Deotale and Jyothi Surekha Vennam remained on course for a second successive World Cup gold when they defeated their Italian rivals 157-157 (19*-19) in a dramatic finish to make the final.
It was a very good match. There were some tense moments, in the first two games when we were trailing and then in the last arrow, but we told ourselves not to give up until the end. Ojas Deotale
As expected, the sixth-seeded Indian pair will run into the top-seeded South Korean duo of Oh Yoohyun and Kim Jongho in the final tomorrow in what would be their biggest test since their gold-winning feat at the Stage 1 World Cup gold in Antalya last month.
The Koreans were level with Mexico’s Andrea and Miguel Becerra on 157 points after a thrilling semifinal, but it was the top seeds who progressed to the final with a perfect score in the shoot-off.
The Indian duo started off by eliminating Bangladesh 158-151 in a lopsided pre-quarterfinal. In the next round, they overcame a strong challenge from Turkey to emerge 157-156 winners.
In the semifinals, Italy’s Elisa Roner and Elia Fregnan had a one-point lead by the virtue of shooting a perfect 40 in the first end. The Italians once again shot a 40 in the third end to extend their lead by two points (119-117).
But Ojas and Jyothi showed remarkable composure to drill in two Xs en route shooting a 40 in the fourth end to force a shoot-off, in which the Indians sealed the issue as their arrows landed nearest to the centre.
“It was a very good match,” said Ojas. “There were some tense moments, in the first two games when we were trailing and then in the last arrow, but we told ourselves not to give up until the end.”
However, in the Olympics category, the fifth-seeded recurve duo of Dhiraj Bommadevara and Simranjeet Kaur failed to live up to expectations and lost to Indonesia 2-6 (39-35 37-39 37-38 34-35) in its opening match.
The Indian pair, which got a bye into the second round (pre-quarterfinals) by virtue of its rankings, squandered a 2-0 lead against the lower-ranked Indonesians. They had a chance in the fourth
end but they were wayward and shot in the outer seven-point ring to make an early exit.